2009-08-07 / Business

Five Below making it's mark

New version of Five & Dime caters to younger set
STORY BY DIANE C. BEAUDOIN

Abbey Burkhardt, age 14, takes a look at all the merchandise geared toward teens. CHAMPION PHOTO / CHERYL CUDDAHY Abbey Burkhardt, age 14, takes a look at all the merchandise geared toward teens. CHAMPION PHOTO / CHERYL CUDDAHY The grand opening of Leominster's newest retail store, Five Below was "absolutely fantastic," according to store manager Leo Belanger.

The fast paced and colorful new store opened on Friday, July 31, at the Water Tower Plaza, 489-493 North Main St., and the crowd continued steady all day long.

Five Below is a retail chain that caters to the younger set with merchandise from wrapping paper and school supplies, to DVDs, video accessories and fashions. All prices are between $1.00 and $5.00, and from the size of the crowd on hand, everyone appeared to be shopping and enjoying.

Brian Foster, district manager for the chain said the new store is geared to the today's economy, and is actually a re-invention of the former Five & Dime stores of days gone by.

"The kids today have no idea what a Five & Dime was, but it seems their parents and grandparents do which is what makes the store such a success," he said.

"The price points are great for this economy. Kids can shop and not spend a fortune," he added.

Belanger said he finds managing the store, "a fun job. I worked at Circuit City for 17 years, but this job is so much more fun. Music is playing and the crowds just keep coming in."

This Five Below is the fourth one to open in New England, with others located in Nashua, New Hampshire, Danvers and Saugus. Other planned openings include a store in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and another in Connecticut.

The front of the store had a waiting line for five cent hot dogs to celebrate the gala.

"I think this store is going to be a wonderful success," Belanger concluded.

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