by Sally Mitani
A store where everything is five dollars or less may sound like a dollar store plus inflation, but Arborland's new Five Below wants to be more like a hip T.J. Maxx, for things other than clothes.
According to its website, "Five Below is a rapidly growing specialty value retailer offering a broad range of trend-right, high-quality merchandise targeted at the teen and pre-teen customer." Trendy is new territory for a dollar (or five dollar) store, but it lives up to the claim in the media department, which offers books, DVDs, and name-brand accessories for media devices, including Built brand laptop sleeves and e-reader covers that typically retail for $20 to $30.
The Philadelphia-based company had 226 stores in eighteen states as of mid-2012. The Ann Arbor store is in half of the Borders space. According to a sign, the rest has been leased to the beauty supply chain Ulta, which already has a store in Cranbrook Village.
Five Below, 3529 Washtenaw (Arborland). 975-0742. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
[Originally published in November, 2012.]