Tenant improvement work has begun on the latest Five Below store in the Central Valley — this one at Fashion Fair Mall in Clovis.

published on April 17, 2019 - 12:47 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Reports on the death of brick-and-mortar retail have been greatly exaggerated, according to one national chain that just celebrated its Central Valley debut.

A Five Below location at 3729 S. Mooney Blvd. in Visalia, in the Gateway Plaza shopping center, hosted a grand opening on March 22.

Marketed as a “teen and tween value retailer,” Five Below’s Visalia location consists of 9,240 square feet, according to a lease report from Commercial Retail Associates, Inc. Brokers Shane Anderson and Doug Cords cooperated in the lease deal with Mike Metzger of Sierra Pacific Retail Group.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based retailer also signed a lease for 8,500 square feet at Riverside Drive and Herndon Avenue in Fresno, in the Marketplace at El Paseo development, anchored by Target near Highway 99.

Lewis Smith and Michael Kennedy with Retail California were the brokers in that lease with Metzger.

According to the Five Below website, a second Fresno store is in the works. Both stores are slated to open this year.

If brick-and-mortar retail was on its last gasp, someone forgot to tell the folks at Five Below. Geared toward children and teenagers, it specializes in items for $5 or less.

Calls to Five Below went unreturned.

Five Below currently has 750 stores in 33 states, and this week announced an ambitious plan to open 145 to 150 new stores in fiscal 2019, up from the 125 new locations it opened last year.

“Our 2018 store openings are on track to be another record class with first year average unit volumes expected to be over $2 million,” said CEO and President Joel Anderson in a statement. “We are excited to continue our high growth with a record number of new store openings and remain confident in our 20/20 through 2020 goals and our ability to reach our 2,500+ U.S. store potential.”

Anderson referenced the retailer’s “20/20 through 2020” plan to increase both its top line (gross) and bottom line (net) revenue by 20 percent next year.

Five Below announced its ambitious store opening plans along with a strong year-end performance. Net income totaled $89.3 million for the quarter, up from $67.4 million last year. Sales surged 19.4% to $602.7 million, up from $504.8 million last year. For the full year, Five Below’s net sales increased 22% to $1.5 billion, or 23.5% excluding the extra week last year. Same-store sales rose 3.9%.

“Our strong fourth quarter performance capped off a great year for Five Below,” Anderson said. “For the year, we delivered comparable sales growth of 3.9% on top of last year’s record results. We saw broad-based strength across our worlds as our incredible, trend-right value offering and fun in-store experience drove both new and existing customers to Five Below.”

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