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Five Below: Both a Store and Gloria's Bank Account

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


I love shopping. Maybe itís my acquisitive nature, but I love finding treasures in thrift shops (particularly Ralph Lauren jeansówell, Ralph Lauren anything, to be honest) or settling in to Ikea for a few hours mentally dressing my living room in new stuff, or trying to resist cosmetics at Dollar Tree (though NYX cosmetics at Ulta is my new favorite line.) And donít get me started on Target. I canít tell you how many of times I stopped in there for paper towels or a chocolate bar, and ended up with $50 worth of stuff.

For a while, thereís been another store in town, thatís shopping crack. Five Below, a chain that markets itself to tweens, has this late 40s womanís attention. And it seems there are a lot of other women my age who like the store too. Sure, they bring their daughters, but Iíve seen enough women in there who arenít dragging kids along that Iím guessing the store appeals to the 17-year-old girl in them, too.

And why not? The store has colorful signs, unique displays, and a huge variety of items: clothing, shoes, games, toys, makeup, fitness items, home dťcor, pet items, video games, movies, books, stickers, journals, art supplies, art kits, wacky t-shirts and one of the biggest assortments of unique candy Iíve ever seen, just to name a few. I forgot the posters! They have posters! And sports balls!

And all of it is $5 or less. Excuse me while I have an orgasm.

Accompanying all these glorious bargains (did I mention they have books and makeup?) is the music. I donít know if they subscribe to Muzak, or another music subscription service, but all of the sounds are upbeat. All the store has to do is install one of those glittery disco balls and it would be a rave you can shop at. I never fail to succumb to the beats and bounce my booty. Itís probably one of the few times Iíll actually dance in public.

Itís an evil plot of course. Behind the cute signs and displays and the upbeat vibe, the music is just a way to get shoppers into a mellow mood, therefore they will spend more money. It works.

I try not to go into the store a lot. It helps that itís on the southwest side of town. But whenever I stop in, I expect to shell out at least $20. Iím getting better though. Last night, I only bought a set of organizer baskets for $2.
Everything is so colorful too. I think thatís part of it. If itís bright, it will get my attention. And the t-shirts are delightfully snarky. I got one that said, ďIíd Rather be Sleeping.Ē Another one of mine says, ďThe Sarcasm Foundation: Like We Need Your Support.Ē I love it. I love ALL of it.

As I was leaving last night, a mom was taking her kids in, admonishing them not to touch anything and that she wasnít going to buy them anything, either.

Famous last words.

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