Bethany Clough

This national discount chain on a massive expansion streak is heading for Fresno

A discount national chain retailer selling unicorn pool floats and blankets shaped like pizza slices is coming to some high-profile spots in Fresno.

Five Below is a store aimed at teens and tweens (and their parents) where everything costs $5 or less. The stores were described by the Washington Post as “a wonderland of things no one needs.”

One store plans to open at Fashion Fair mall, in the former Charming Charlie, a jewelry and accessories store that closed June 22. Work has started on the store, which has an exterior entrance facing Shaw Avenue.

No opening date has been set.

At River Park, a sign on the former Aaron Brothers store says Five Below is coming soon. With work to be done on the building, it will likely open after Jan. 1, according to a River Park spokeswoman.

Five Below has also signed a lease to rent 8,500 square feet at The Marketplace at El Paseo, the shopping center at Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue, according to information reported to The Bee’s leasing section by Retail California and Sierra Pacific Retail Group.

That center has just barely started a second phase of construction so it could be many months before that location opens.

The first Five Below in the central San Joaquin Valley opened in the spring in Visalia, a 9,240-square-foot store on Mooney Boulevard near Caldwell Avenue.

The store

The shop’s slogan is “Let go & have fun” and it describes itself as a “hands-on in a treasure hunt style shopping.”

Unlike Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, it’s aimed at a younger demographic and stocks items that are trendy and new.

On the shelves you’ll find figurines from video game Fortnite, pink ottomans made with faux fur, “mega tubes” of gummy bears and T-shirts that say “Strong is the new pretty.”

There are also practical items like leggings, headphones, sunblock and school supplies.

The stores have eight categories: Style, room, play, tech, create, party, candy and new and now.

More stores

Five Below was founded in Pennsylvania in 2002 and now has more than 800 stores in 36 states. It is planning to open 1,750 more.

Five Below did not return messages seeking comment about when the Fresno stores would open or if they planned to open any more locations in the area.

The company has about three dozen stores in Southern California and one in Bakersfield.

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Bethany Clough: (559) 441-6431, @BethanyClough

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.