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Five Below fizzles amid winter weather

Teen and tween retailer Five Below blamed the weather for what it expects will be a substantial shortfall in fourth quarter same store sales.

For the nine week period ended Jan. 9, same store sales had declined 0.5% and by the end of the company’s fourth quarter same store sales may decline as much as 1.5%, according to the company. That is well below guidance of a 4% increase the company forecast when it released third quarter results.

“We did not meet our sales expectations for the holiday season as adverse weather negatively impacted traffic to our stores, which are heavily concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest regions,” said Five Below co-founder and CEO Thomas Vellios. “This was exacerbated by the shortened holiday season during which we simply did not make up the weather-driven sales shortfall, especially in those key shopping days just prior to Christmas.”

Vellios added that the company see’s room for improvement within certain merchandise categories which he did not identify that underperformed relative to the company’s expectations.

“While clearly disappointed with our holiday comparable store sales performance, we continue to be pleased with the performance of our new stores, in particular the performance of the new Texas market."

The company, which has grown rapidly in recently years, isn’t due to report it fourth quarter financial results until March, at which time it will provide an update on its growth plan for new stores. Five Below opened 60 new store this year which increased its store count to 304 units.
 

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