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Posted on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Retailer Five Below opening first Ann Arbor store this week

By Angela Smith

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Five Below opens in Ann Arbor's Arborland Mall this week.

Angela Smith | for

Trend-right, extreme value, high quality items. That is what director of marketing Liz Romaine calls the merchandise at Five Below, a retailer that will be opening its first Ann Arbor location on Friday.

The Ann Arbor store — in Arborland Mall — will be Five Below’s 17th Michigan location, the next closest being in Brighton. Romaine says the company will open about 50 stores this year, bringing the total to 242 nationwide by the close of the year.

Five Below is headquartered in Philadelphia. The first store opened in 2002 in Wayne, Pa., by founders Tom Vellios and David Schlessinger, who also founded the now-defunct Zany Brainy Toy Store.

Stock analysts say Five Below is trying to appeal to the aspirational teen customer with unique products at a price point that teens/pre-teens can afford. According to iStockAnalyst, “Five Below focuses on a niche market that has no direct retail competitor today.”


Five Below plans a carnival-style grand opening celebration in Arborland Mall.

Angela Smith | for

The Ann Arbor store will open in the southwest corner of Arborland, sharing the space that was once Border’s with soon-to-open Ulta. Five Below will hold 7,500 square feet of property organized into ‘worlds’ of bins and barrels of merchandise all priced at $5 and below.

Romaine says the company has been looking for an excellent location in Ann Arbor, where families and value-minded shoppers - particularly in the preteen and teen age-group-- already frequent.

The store has mostly completed its hiring, and 35 employee positions were filled. The employees are gearing up for a grand opening that will run through the weekend.

“We try to make it a carnival like event, with lots of events and giveaways,” explains Romaine. “The first 300 shoppers this Friday, Saturday and Sunday will each receive a free Five Below T-shirt with purchase. We also offer our famous 5 cent hot dogs.”

The hot dogs have been a part of every grand opening for Five Below, and will be available from 3-6 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Shoppers on Saturday also can expect a visit from the Detroit Lions mascot, Roary, along with other games and activities.

Five Below - Arborland is at 3529 Washtenaw Ave.



Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

Annette Poole

Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

I have a feeling that my daughter's going to be super-excited for this store - and I love the prices!


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

My kids (7 and 11) are going to love this store. They are always looking for ways to stretch their allowance (which isn't very big) and this store sounds perfect, especially if a previous poster is correct and lots of the products are name brands. (i.e. somewhat less likely to be cheap junk than what we find at the dollar stores.)


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

Whatever happened to Nordstrom Rack possibly joining the lineup of new stores opening at this location?

Allison Camara

Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

When you click on the Ulta link it says page is not found, please fix this. Also I am so happy about this store, I found a stool for my young child there to reach the sink holds up great, also a lot of this and that my child likes to dress up and put on makeup and such so I find her lots of stuff that she can wear and do her self and not get into my things. They do have cell phone accessories haven't bought any but I might try some head phones or something see how they work they also have DVD's and video games for $5 not the newest and best a greatest but If your wanting a cheese chick flick for a girls night in then you can pick that up and some candy and nail stuff you could host a pre teen sleep over for under $20.


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Its basically the concept of a $1 store but using the $5 price point.


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

But for those of us unfamiliar with them, what do they sell??????

average joe

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

The modern 5 & dime store.


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

nah -its pretty cool. I've been following them for years. They used to position themselves as the 'allowance store' where your kinds can spend their allowance and have all kinds of items at 0-$5 price points. That said, as an adult, I've never been in one I didn't wind up buying at least something from. unlike a dollar store, they are getting closeouts more than anything, so your at least getting a name brand product.

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

HB11 is correct! Lots of back-to-school stuff, cheap T-shirts, but I did find an Ab wheel for $5.


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Trash and trinkets that are $5 or less. I believe they cater to kids.