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Succession strategy executed at Five Below


Teen retailer Five Below elevated Joel Anderson to the role of CEO in conjunction with the release of third quarter results that showed strong improvement in profitability despite a modest 1.5 percent same store sales increase.

Anderson joined the operator of 366 stores as president and COO in July of this year as part of a succession strategy at the fast growing retailer. He previously served as president and CEO of and will replace Tom Vellios as CEO at Five Below in February when Vellios will retain his position as chairman. Current executive chairman and co-founder David Schlessinger will remain on the board of directors.

“Over the last 12 years, we have built an incredibly exciting retail brand with a very loyal customer base and universal appeal, passionate associates and supportive shareholders," Vellios said. “As proud as we are about where Five Below is today, we are even more optimistic about the future. With only 366 stores today, there is a long runway for growth. With an exceptionally strong and diverse retail background, we are confident Joel has the right vision, discipline and expertise to continue to deliver on the promise of newness and value to our customers, while also delivering consistent and profitable growth to our shareholders."

The company delivered on that vision in the third quarter for the most part. Sales increased 24.6 percent to $138 million as the addition of 62 new stores throughout 2014 more than compensated for relatively weak same store sales growth. In reporting the 1.5 percent comp increase, the company noted it was up against a prior year gain of 9 percent. Net income increased to $3.3 million, or six cents a share, compared to $1.7 million, or three cents a share the prior year.

"We have worked hard all year building our capabilities, adding necessary talent, bringing on seasoned leadership and breaking ground on a new East Coast distribution center to support the considerable runway of growth that lies ahead,” Vellios said. “Across marketing, merchandising, stores and the entire organization, we believe Five Below is ready and in a great position to deliver on our promise of newness, excitement and value to customers this holiday season."

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