Five Below might sell really cool merchandise to teenagers, but its appeal might hold a more monetary value. Operating a chain of specialty retail stores, Five Below sells a broad range of products all priced under five dollars. The retailer, which targets teenage and pre-teen girls and boys, operates more than 190 stores in shopping centers located across the northeastern US. Core merchandise includes fun but inexpensive items that entice teens, such as jewelry and accessories, novelty t-shirts, casual footwear, sports gear, decor and crafts, and mobile phone accessories. Five Below was founded in 2002 by CEO Thomas Vellios and David Schlessinger. The retailer went public in mid-2012.
Five Below intends to use the proceeds it raises in its IPO to repay debt and for general corporate purposes. It may use some proceeds for capital improvements and other working capital. The company initially sought $150 million but managed to raise $163 million; it kept $72 million as net proceeds.
The company has already invested in some capital improvements, including expanding its Delaware-based distribution center and updating its technologies to better support its growing retail chain. As part of its ongoing strategy, Five Below is looking to open 50 new stores in the eastern US by the end of 2012. Ultimately, it hopes to grow the chain to some 2,000 stores in coming years.
Aligned with its flourishing retail chain is the company's finances, which have been on the upswing in recent years. In 2011 the retailer's revenue was up 51% over 2010 figures, a trajectory that reflected the company's establishment of 50 new stores that year and the subsequent boost in sales. Its net income was up by 128%.
Prior to filing its IPO, Five Below was majority-owned by investment firm Advent International, which will continue as the controlling shareholder after the offering closes. – less