How Five Below is cracking the modern retail code

    Stepping into Five Below feels like being sucked into an arcade game.

    As The Washington Post reports, with its menagerie of shiny, nonessential items that cost $5 or less, Five Below—which has a Baton Rouge location on Siegen Lane—has been shaping a new category of retailer, one that harnesses fun in a consumer landscape often dominated by necessity.

    Nobody needs hedgehog headphones or lava lamps or unicorns full of iridescent ooze. But for many, there’s something thrilling about being swept up in an affordable shopping experience.

    “If you spend time in a dollar store or mass merchant like Target or Walmart, it’s not really about letting go because you’re there to meet your needs,” says David Makuen, executive vice president of marketing and strategy. “Our purpose is really simple: We want customers to be able to let go and have fun.”

    A 16-year-old company, Five Below added 125 new locations in 2018. In 2017, it reported revenue exceeding $1 billion. Eventually, Five Below aims to have 2,500 U.S. locations and go international. The company is also toying with a move to a slightly higher price point.

    The question it faces is whether it will continue to thrive in a hypercompetitive environment. Read the full story.

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