Five Below plans to open eight locations in and around Houston Friday, June 6, marking the specialty value retailer’s first foray into that city. The company already has 15 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets.
The store openings are part of the company’s aggressive growth strategy. Last year, the Philadelphia-based retailer opened 60 new stores, and it plans to match that number this year. With the Houston openings, there will be 338 Five Below stores in 20 states throughout the country.
Each new store is approximately 7,500 sq. ft. in size and is expected to generate up to 300 new jobs throughout the area.
"We all know that you have to go big in Texas, and that's what we're doing by opening eight new stores in one day in Houston," said Thomas Vellios, CEO and co-founder of Five Below. "We will deliver our unique shopping experience, trend-right merchandise and great values to the Houston pre-teen and teen customer and their parents. And this attractive new market is primed to take advantage of our unique store concept. We've had tremendous success in our other Texas stores, and we expect Houston to get hooked on Five Below, as well."
Founded in 2002, Five Below has expanded rapidly in the past few years. In March, the company entered Nashville with three new stores and followed it up with two additional stores in Tennessee.
News of the Houston store openings was concurrent with the company’s solid start to fiscal 2014. The company’s new stores performed consistently well across new markets in the first quarter, resulting in a net sales surge of 31.8% to $126 million from $95.6 million in the first quarter last year. Comparable store sales increased by 6.2%, above the company’s anticipated guidance. .
"We are pleased with our first quarter sales performance as our compelling offering of high-quality, trend-right merchandise drove a solid customer response, particularly in the weeks leading up to Easter,” said Vellios. “This sales performance resulted in the strong increase in earnings per share even as we continue to make the investments in talent, systems, and infrastructure that we believe are so critical to our future success."
Looking ahead, the company anticipates net sales in the second quarter to be in the range of $150 million to $152 million based on opening 27 new stores and assuming a 3% to 4% increase in comparable store sales. For the full year, the company expects net sales to be in the range of $675 million to $681 million based on opening 62 new stores for the full year and assuming a 4% increase in comparable store sales.
Five Below will hold simultaneous grand openings at all eight stores with giveaways, coupons and contests. There will be five-cent hot dogs served Friday and Saturday, and the first 100 people in line Friday at each Five Below will receive a mystery ticket worth up to "100 Five Below Bucks." One winner will receive a $100 shopping spree.
The eight new stores will be located in the following areas:
- Houston (Hedwig Village, Northwest Marketplace, and Willowbrook Plaza)
- Missouri City (Riverstone Shopping Center)
- Copperfield (Copperfield Village Shopping Center)
- Webster (Baybrook Square)
- Richmond (Bella Terra Shopping Center)
- Tomball (Tomball Marketplace)