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Five Below opens with ‘fun’ in mind
Five Below
Camden City Manager Mel Pearson (far left, in light blue shirt) and Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford (near left, in dark blue shirt) were among those on hand for Five Below’s grand opening Friday morning at River Oaks Shopping Center. The company’s district manager, Bobby Edwards, estimated some 100-130 people showed up. The store actually had a soft opening June 17. Edwards said the store had already seen returning customers throughout the week. - photo by Martin L. Cahn/C-I

Five Below, one of several new stores opening at River Oaks Shopping Center, welcomed between 100 and 130 customers Friday morning for its grand opening celebration. Bobby Edwards, district manager for Five Below’s Carolina Coast division, said the store had a soft opening earlier in the week, on June 17.

“We’re already seeing repeat customers,” Edwards said, which he said indicated the store’s already seeming popularity.

The store caters to “tweens to teens,” offering a variety of products.

“That includes all their tech needs, we’re a one-stop shop for summer needs, and have health care products, beauty care and even DIY kits,” Edwards said. “And everything is $5 or less.”

Edwards said Five Below’s motto is “Let Go and Have Fun.”

“That’s our purpose, every day,” he said.

He said the company chose Camden and River Oaks because the city appears to fit that same purpose.

“It’s a growing town,” Edwards said. “What we’ve experienced so far is that people seem to embracing our culture. We opened Monday, and today was our grand opening. We just turned the key and opened the door, and people have just been coming in. It’s been a super, great crowd.”

 Inside on Friday, the first 100 customers participated in a “mystery ticket” scratch-off promotion for a chance to receive a prize valued at up to $100. That afternoon, and again on Saturday, customers also enjoyed $5 hot dogs, and throughout the weekend, visitors received a fee cinch sack.

As they shopped, kids’ and other pop music played on the in-store sound system.

“This is everyday here,” Edwards said. “The one word to describe the store is ‘fun.’”

Kim Fedler is the local store manager, supervising 18 employees. Five Below is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Edwards said the store’s hours change seasonally to accommodate, for example, changes in people’s schedules during the summer versus the school year.

(The online version of this story includes an edited caption for the accompanying photograph to correctly identify Camden City Manager Mel Pearson. The caption with the print edition of the story mistakenly listed him as wearing a yellow shirt, not a light blue one.)