Five Below to open 50 stores and enter Chicago market in 2011

Philadelphia -- Five Below will open 50 stores in 2011, including its first-ever locations in the Chicago market.

The extreme-value teen retailer said it has signed 12 store leases in the Chicago area. The new stores, scheduled to open in spring, are the first of up to 20 locations that Five Below plans to open in the Chicago market this year. Over the next three to five years, the chain anticipates expanding its foothold in Chicagoland to as many as 60 locations.

"Chicago is the gateway to the Midwest as Five Below continues its expansion," says Tom Vellios, CEO and co-founder of Five Below. "As one of the largest markets in the nation, it holds huge potential for us.”

With the addition of the Chicago stores, Five Below will operate in 15 states from New Hampshire to North Carolina along the East Coast and now in the Midwest.

In October 2010, Five Below, which offers a wide range of merchandise for teens and pre-teens priced at $5 or lower, received an investment from global private equity firm Advent International to help advance the retailer’s growth strategy.

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