First Look: Five Below’s Massive New Flagship on Chestnut Street
By the end of 2015, Five Below will have 436 locations all over the country — but perhaps none will showcase the brand like the one opening soon on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th Streets in Center City. Not only is it the largest Five Below of all, but it’s also the Philadelphia-based company’s flagship location.
Built at the site of the old Arcadia Theater (constructed in 1915) the store has exposed brick, original crown moldings and high ceilings. Now it’s got an escalator, a lighted Five Below logo in the ceiling and plenty of colorful signage. By its grand opening date of Sept. 10, it’ll be filled with makeup, yoga mats, candy, cell phone cases and all the other wacky stuff it sells for $5-or-under.
Building out such a huge location is a clear sign that the publicly traded company is planting firm roots in Philadelphia.
“For us not to have a Five Below store in Center City just didn’t feel right,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below. “We came across this location and jumped on it. It’s Five Below loud-and-proud here in Center City. We’re going to put some items in that store that aren’t in any other stores.”
The 13,000 square foot location is larger than any other. (They typically range from 7,000 to 10,000 square feet.) It’s also going to feature an area with Philly-specific products, like Phillies and Eagles gear or stuff made by local merchants. The company also plans to carry limited-time-only products at the store.
It’s approximately 10 years in the making. While the retailer has had no trouble growing from a small niche business into one with stores in more than 20 states — it had plenty of difficulty finding a place for its flagship.
“It’s hard to find a location that had a minimum of 8,000-10,000 square feet. It’s a challenge to fit into that size and fit in an area where we knew there would be high pedestrian foot traffic,” said Zach Minteer, senior director of real estate. “Chestnut Street has had a strong rebirth with big national retailers coming into the market. Any given day of the week, it’s a top area in the city for foot traffic.”
The company basically has control of the space for the next 30 years (with a 15 year lease and an option for another 15.)
Another big selling point was its marquee, which Minteer said “can be seen from three or four blocks away depending on if the trees are trimmed. It’s great exposure to that high pedestrian count and a great additional amenity.”
Check out some photos below: