Two key hires announced today at Philadelphia-based Five Below are designed to move the middle-school-focused national retail chain and its warehouses into online and mobile sales, making it possible to remain a "hyper-growth company" and justify its independence, writes analyst David Strasser in a report to clients of Janney Capital Markets.
Five Below's president-designate Joel Anderson, who will head the chain's merchandising, store operations and marketing, was CEO of Walmart.com and so brings Five "the experience of being a senior executive of a multi-billion-dollar business that has been growing at double-digitl evels to a company that does not have an e-commerce platform." Five Below has promised "a larger omnichannel presence, and this... important and strong hire... seems to be the first strategic step in that direction." Anderson is also a veteran of Toys R Us and Target.
Five Below's new chief administrative officer, Eric Specter, was previously "Chief Integration Officer" at Ascena Retail Group and acting president of its Catherines chain. He'll be in charge of supply chain, info tech and real estate. Anderson and Specter are scheduled to join Five Below in July.