Five Below Stores Are About to Become Esports Centers

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Value chain Five Below led a $12 million financing round for Nerd Street Gamers, an esports facility developer. The goal: respawn foot traffic in Five Below’s stores. 

With the investment, Nerd Street will turn several of Five Below’s stores into strip mall gaming arenas.

  • In 2020, Nerd Street will open 3,000-sq.-ft. gaming centers in several Five Below stores. About 100 of Five Below’s 750 stores have enough space to handle gamers, their audiences, and all their snacks.
  • Five Below estimates that over 70 store locations could include esports facilities in the next several years.

It’s so simple, it just might work. Five Below has said its target customers are teens and tweens, the demographics fueling growth in esports.

My takeaway: Store renovations like Five Below’s are 100% about the destination. In the age of the e-word, extra store space is ripe for snazzier customer activations—even at the expense of the employee breakroom.

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