Five Below (FIVE 8.29%) isn't scrapping its aggressive growth plans. As part of a reopening update, the retailer said on Friday that it expects to open between 100 and 120 new locations in fiscal 2020, even as the wider industry struggles through traffic challenges due to COVID-19.
"We are thrilled to be in a position to have reopened over 75% of our stores," CEO Joel Anderson said, "and to have resumed our new store program."
That 120-unit growth goal is a slight decrease from the 150 new locations that launched last year. Those added stores delivered nearly all of the youth-focused retailer's 2019 sales growth, too. Overall revenue rose 18% last year, while established stores expanded sales by less than 1%.
Prior to the pandemic, Five Below had aimed to speed up new store growth for a second straight year, targeting 180 openings for 2020. The nearly two-month COVID-19 pause in retailing deferred many of those launches, though.
Five Below's aggressive growth strategy suggests that management still sees room for at least 2,500 locations around the country, compared to the current total of just over 900. Investors should hear more details about the chain's growth expectations when management announces first-quarter results on June 9.