Have esports become more than a game for Five Below?
Management at Five Below, the discount chain focused on teens and tweens known for its eclectic mix of merchandise priced at (you guessed it) $5 or less, has long believed that the in-store experience is what drives the chain’s growth. Now, the chain pushing that experience in a new and different direction. Five Below says it will connect 3,000-square-foot esports facilities to five test stores beginning next year.
Five Below has teamed with Nerd Street Gamers, an esports infrastructure company that builds facilities known as Localhost that enable gamers to play in live, in-person events using professional level equipment. Nerd Street announced last week that it raised $12 million in Series A financing led by Five Below.
Should the test between the two companies prove successful, Five Below may co-locate 70 or more stores with Localhost facilities over the next several years. The chain has been on a rapid new store growth path in recent years, opening 44 locations in the second quarter. It currently has 850 stores in 36 states.
Five Below has been able to continue growing its top and bottom lines by getting in on trends such as fidget spinners and make-your-own slime. It also encourages shoppers to engage with products on store floors in a variety of ways.
“Gaming is a trend our younger customers are actively enjoying and working with Nerd Street Gamers will help us to provide an exciting gaming experience that appeals to our core customers and beyond, while also showcasing our extreme value technology-related products and accessories,” said Five Below CEO Joel Anderson. “We look forward to providing more experiences for our customers to ‘Let Go & Have Fun!’ while engaging with our communities at a deeper level.”
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- Five Below, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Fiscal 2019 Financial Results – Five Below, Inc.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Where do you expect Five Below’s investment in Nerd Street Gamers to take it? Do you see esports as a means to growth for other retailers, as well?