We visited Five Below, the discount-store chain that's growing across America. Here's what it's like to shop there.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerFive Below sells all sorts of things for under $US5. It was packed with shoppers when we visited.

  • Five Below is a discount-store chain that sells everything from books to clothes for under $US5.
  • Five Below is one of several dollar stores that have been doing well lately, like competitors Dollar General and Dollar General. In the second quarter of 2018, Five Below’s comparable sales increased by 2.7%.
  • It has opened 67 new stores so far in 2018. It plans to open an additional 50 stores this quarter, CEO Joel Anderson said in an earnings call last week.

Five Below is thriving.

Five Below, a discount-store chain that sells everything from school supplies to clothes to candy for under $US5, is one of several chains that have recently found success selling extremely low-priced products. From 2010 to 2015, dollar-store sales grew from $US30.4 billion to $US45.3 billion in the United States. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar all announced plans to open hundreds of stores this year, with Dollar General planning to open 900 more locations in the US in 2018.

Five Below announced its own plans to grow earlier this year. It has opened 67 new stores so far in 2018 and plans to open another 50 this quarter in addition to the 625 stores it already operates, CEO Joel Anderson said in an earnings call last week. One of those stores will be a flagship location on New York’s Fifth Avenue, one of the most expensive shopping destinations in the US, CNBC reported.

Five Below is one of the country’s fastest-growing retailers, with 22.7% net sales growth year-over-year, according to the company’s most recent earnings release. In the second quarter of 2018, Five Below’s comparable sales grew by 2.7%.

One of the biggest draws of Five Below is that everything at the store truly costs under $US5. You can find beach chairs, clothes, books, electronics, and school supplies for well below the price of similar products at other retailers.

We recently visited a location of the discount chain in Queens, New York. This is what we found:


I went to a Five Below store in Queens, New York.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was a sale sign advertising 50% off certain products, even though everything was already $US5 or less.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The store was bright and spacious. Loud pop music was blasting over the speakers, and there were a lot of families shopping in the store.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were also wheelbarrows filled with $US5 school supplies like pens and pencils, glue sticks, and highlighters. The same products typically cost $US8-10 at stores like Staples or Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The store also sold backpacks …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… notebooks and binders …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and electronics like headphones and phone chargers. There were a lot of recognisable name brands like Maxwell.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was a wall of $US5 clothes and shoes, selling simple styles like black boots, plain tank tops, and pajamas that you might also find at a store like Target. The styles were all very basic, and the quality was better than you’d expect on a $US5 pair of shoes.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were a ton of makeup and beauty products.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It carried a lot of drugstore brands and had a huge selection of cleansers, makeup removers, soaps, and bath products, in addition to makeup and nail polish.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were books for $US5 or less in the center of the store, including children’s books, activity books, and novels by authors like Stephen King. Behind the books were products like phone cases, DVDs, USB cables, and headphones, typically priced between $US3 and $US35.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It had room decor like Himalayan salt lamps, essential oil diffusers, and zen gardens, which can typically cost $US20 or more at other stores.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The store had an entire wall of storage bins, pillows, blankets, and rugs. The quality was surprisingly great for how cheap it all was.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was a small crafts section selling products like Play-Doh and acrylic paint for $US1, and it was all 50% off. The Nickelodeon Slime kit sold for $US1 at Five Below costs $US6 at a competing stores like Michaels.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The back of the store was packed with toys and games …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… fitness equipment …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and sporting goods. There were a bunch of kids playing soccer in the store, and nobody seemed to mind.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The front of the store was basically a small candy shop …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and there were a lot of people in line.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Overall, I was impressed with Five Below — the prices were really all under $US5, the quality was decent, and there was a big variety of products. It was also very bright and clean, and it was packed with shoppers in the middle of the day.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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