Teen and tween chain Five Below has already opened 117 stores and wants the majority of its fleet open for business come June.
The extreme-value retailer opened stores across Arkansas,, Iowa and Nebraska last week, and 100 more are slated to welcome shoppers this week in five additional states. Five Below said it expects to open “many more” stores in the first half of May.
In a bid to court contact-shy shoppers, the company rolled out a new curbside pick-up service at 40 stores in Florida, Tennessee, California and Texas. The contactless fulfillment service is set to expand to “hundreds of stores this week,” the company said. Stores based in open-air shopping plazas, or strip malls, have an easier time offering services allowing shoppers to drive up and retrieve their goods.
In order to safely reopen stores, Five Below has implemented new measures including mandatory face coverings for store associates, frequent cleaning and sanitization, and new signage remind staff and customers of the importance of both social distancing and proper hygiene.
“As certain sates and localities update their restrictions, we are beginning the process of reopening our stores and reconnecting with our customers,” CEO Joel Anderson said.
Five Below said it will “continue to be disciplined in our approach, maintaining our focus on expense reduction and diligent management of cash and liquidity” as it monitors consumer behavior and store footfall.
The chain is already making strategic cuts, whittling planned new store opening target down to 100 to 120 stores, versus the original 180. The retailer also plans to continue work on its new web platform and maintain its target for a West Coast distribution center opening next year, but it’s putting off the opening of Midwest distribution center until 2022. Like others in the retail sector, Five Below has cancelled purchase orders, delayed receipts of certain shipment to manage inventory levels, and extended payment terms for all vendors.
On the financial front, the company–like other retailers–furloughed the majority of its store and distribution center workers. And executives had agreed to temporary base salary reductions earlier this month. Temporary pay reductions will extend to salaried corporate associates and certain field and supply chain leadership starting May 3.
Five Below also entered into a new three-year $225 million asset-based revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo, replacing a prior $50 million credit facility the banking firm.
“This additional liquidity further reinforces our solid financial position, increases our flexibility as we navigate the current environment and will ensure we emerge in a very strong financial position,” chief financial officer Ken Bull said.