Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Business

Five Below continues Tampa Bay expansion, targeting cost-conscious tweens

ST. PETERSBURG — Alexis Redman, 10, of St. Petersburg is fascinated with llamas. Inside the newly opened Five Below store in Tyrone Square Mall — which sells niche products especially for tweens — she found what she was on the hunt for.

"It’s amazing," she said, proudly displaying her soon-to-be-purchased llama pool floatie, squishie toy and keychain.

She was shopping with her mom, Holly Redman, and three siblings at the opening event for the fast-growing Philadelphia-based discount chain, which, as its name suggests, sells products for $5 and under. The family had shopped at Five Below online, but this was their first time in a physical store.

The 6665 22nd Ave N location in St. Petersburg is the ninth Five Below to open in the Tampa Bay area since the chain entered the market three years ago. Other area locations include Clearwater, Largo, Bradenton, North Seminole, Oldsmar, Tampa, Plant City and Brooksville.

And the chain isn’t slowing down. Tyrone Square marks the sixth Five Below to open in Florida so far in 2018, with 13 more openings planned this year.

"We love the Sunshine State," said Zach Minteer, Five Below’s vice president of real estate. "We’re a summer destination store, which works well for Florida."

Minteer said the St. Petersburg location is ideal because of the densely trafficked mall. "St. Petersburg has been a big target for us in Florida," he said. "This redevelopment of Tyrone Square Mall provided that perfect opportunity."

Fidget spinners and fake slime are some of the company’s most popular products sold at its more than 650 stores nationwide. But while it markets to mostly tweens and teenagers, adults aren’t excluded from the customers that shop for home decor, tech and clothing products.

Francine Yencha, 44, was jumping up and down in line behind about 25 other customers who would be the first to walk through the store’s doors. When it opened a little after 9 a.m., the St. Petersburg native grabbed a shopping cart and made her way quickly through the store.

"Don’t you love the stuff in here?" said Yencha, complimenting other customers on the items in their baskets. "Where’d you find that?"

Another customer at the opening, Wes Hamm of Seminole, was shopping with his wife, Katie, and two daughters.

"It’s like a Dollar Store on steroids," he said.

The publicly traded company opened its first location in 2002 in Pennsylvania. Since then, some market analysts claim, the company is outperforming Amazon, with lower prices and a strategically targeted audience.

Five Below, Inc.’s stock surged 41 percent last week to an all-time high of $102.87 a share after posting a surprisingly strong first quarter report. Sales jumped 27 percent from the year-ago quarter to $296.3 million and net income increased by almost 160 percent to $21.8 million, or 39 cents per share.

Contact Hannah Denham at [email protected] Follow @hannah_denham1.

Comments
Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

BOLTS: BREW FESTI was going to list all the craft brewers whose wares will be on offer at 7 p.m. Friday at this year’s Bolts Brew Fest, a Tampa Bay Lightning benefit for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. But with 50 local breweries alone, and another ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Royal Caribbean will no longer allow emotional support animals on cruises

Royal Caribbean will no longer allow emotional support animals on cruises

In a recent policy change, international cruise line Royal Caribbean has announced it will not allow emotional support animals on its cruise ships effective immediately.The cruise line said emotional support animals, also known as therapy animals, we...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa ranked third best city in U.S. to retire; St. Petersburg is 23rd

Tampa ranked third best city in U.S. to retire; St. Petersburg is 23rd

Tampa Bay has been named one of the best places for people to retire in the United States, according to a new ranking by credit-monitoring website WalletHub .The financial advice website released its ranking after comparing data collected from more ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Is the future of department stores off-price? Macy’s Backstage opens in Tampa

Is the future of department stores off-price? Macy’s Backstage opens in Tampa

TAMPA — Kishia Gainey pushes a blue shopping cart while eyeing a wall of shoes.The mother of four is back-to-school shopping at a Ross Dress for Less in a Citrus Park plaza. She’s already nabbed a pair of D.C. brand sneakers for her teen son that are...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Retail sales rising at strong clip

Retail sales rising at strong clip

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Americans shopped at a healthy pace in July, buying more cars, clothes and appliances, evidence that confident consumers are helping drive robust economic growth. Retail sales rose at a 0.5 percent annual rate in July, af...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Girl Scouts announce new gluten free cookie flavor

Girl Scouts announce new gluten free cookie flavor

Move over, Thin Mints — there’s a new cookie in town. And this one is gluten free.Girl Scouts of the USA announced a new flavor Monday. Available during the upcoming 2019 cookie season, Caramel Chocolate Chip "features rich caramel, semi-sweet chocol...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa General ranked Florida’s second-best hospital in U.S. News study

Tampa General ranked Florida’s second-best hospital in U.S. News study

Tampa General Hospital was ranked as Florida’s second-best hospital in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Hospital Rankings released Tuesday, while Moffitt Cancer Center was named the country’s eighth-best cancer hospital.The rankings, which analy...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Wells Fargo to close two Pinellas County banks as part of nationwide closure

Wells Fargo to close two Pinellas County banks as part of nationwide closure

Wells Fargo will close two of its branches in Pinellas County as part of a nationwide closure that reflects a continued shift toward online banking.The two branches — one in Redington Shores and one at the Dunedin Plaza — are the only ones in Tampa B...
Updated: 2 hours ago
State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

For nearly 40 years, while wearing an eclectic mix of fashion, a mechanical gorilla has stood outside State Vacuum of Tampa, waving hello to Kennedy Boulevard motorists.His name is Bernie Apestein. "That gorilla has been a mainstay" said David Epstei...
Updated: 4 hours ago
State launches investigation, assesses $800,000 in damages against SunPass contractor

State launches investigation, assesses $800,000 in damages against SunPass contractor

After months of inaction, Florida Department of Transportation officials announced today that they are assessing nearly $800,000 in damages against the SunPass contractor responsible for the state’s tolling chaos.At Gov. Rick Scott’s direction, the d...
Updated: 5 hours ago