Five Below names COO and retail veteran Joel Anderson as CEO

Philadelphia — Specialty retailer Five Below named current COO and industry veteran Joel Anderson as president and CEO, effective Feb.1., 2015. Anderson has also been elected a member of the company's board of directors. Current CEO and co-founder, Tom Vellios, who will work with Anderson to ensure a smooth transition, will remain active in the company as executive chairman.

Five Below targets teen and pre-teen shoppers with products ranging from school supplies to accessories to candy, with all of the goods priced at $5 or below.

In line with the transition, current executive chairman and co-founder David Schlessinger will remain on the board of directors.

"As proud as we are about where Five Below is today, we are even more optimistic about the future,” Vellios said. “With only 366 stores today, there is a long runway for growth. With that in mind, a smooth leadership transition has always been a part of the plan and, in Joel, we believe we have found the right leader to help realize the full potential of this amazing growth opportunity.”

Vellios said that since joining the company, Anderson has hit the ground running, immersing himself in all aspects of businesss, in particular merchandising, marketing and stores.

Anderson joined Five Below in July 2014, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the retail sector. Prior to Five Below, he served as president and CEO of, where he oversaw all aspects of the business including merchandising, marketing, operations and overall site experience.

Prior to Wal-Mart, Anderson was responsible for all aspects of the retail and direct business units at Lenox Group. He previously spent twelve years at Toys "R" Us, Inc. in various roles.

In separate news, Five Below on Friday reported reported a third-quarter profit of $3.3 million, up from $1.7 million a year earlier. provided disappointing sales guidance for the key holiday quarter.

Revenue rose 25% to $138 million, with sales at existing stores increasing 1.5%.that its third quarter net sales increased 24.6% to $138.0 million from $110.7 million in the year-aog period. Same- store sales increased 1.5%.

“We delivered another quarter of solid performance with sales and earnings at the high end of our guidance range despite the 9% comp comparison from the third quarter of 2013,” Vellios said. “We have now completed our 62 planned 2014 openings and are very pleased with the consistent strength in performance we continue to see out of our new stores."