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Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves

by 
Ezra Carmel
 on 
May 27, 2024
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves

We dove into the data to check in with specialty discount chains Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below. How did they fare in early 2024? And what can the two brands’ recent performance tell us about what lies in store for them in the months ahead?

Key Takeaways

    • In Q1 2024, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below saw respective year-over-year (YoY) visit increases of 10.9% and 19.1% – partly fueled by the chains’ continued expansion. For Five Below in particular, Easter holiday shopping helped drive early 2024 visit success.
    • As chains that offer affordable indulgences, Ollie’s and Five Below receive greater shares of weekend and extended visits than category averages. And both chains saw their shares of extended visits (≥ 30 minutes) increase YoY in Q1 2024 – even as the wider Discount & Dollar Store space saw a slight decline. 

The Hop Don’t Stop: Easter Caps off the Quarter

A quest for bargains and the promise of unexpected finds have kept Discount & Dollar Store shoppers coming so far in 2024. Despite lapping a strong 2023, foot traffic to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below remained consistently above last year’s levels between January and April 2024, partly due to the chains’ continued expansions.

Though both chains draw Easter shoppers with special seasonal offerings, Five Below’s primary focus on low-ticket recreational merchandise makes it a natural destination for shoppers eager to fill their baskets with candy and other inexpensive holiday items. And Q1 2024 foot traffic to the chain appeared to be shaped by Easter shopping patterns. The brand’s YoY visits increased significantly in February with the roll-out of holiday wares, and the Saturday before Easter (March 30th, 2024) saw a sizable foot traffic boost that was 38.7% above the chainwide average for Saturdays in Q1 2024 – contributing to the month’s elevated visits overall. This pull-forward in demand, together with the comparison to an April 2023 that included Easter Sunday, at least partially explains Five Below’s more modest visit growth in April. 

For both Ollie’s and Five Below, strong traffic since the beginning of the year indicates continued YoY gains may be expected in the months ahead.

Leisurely and Weekend Visits Drive Growth

In addition to YoY visit growth in the early months of 2024, Ollie’s and Five Below are seeing elevated weekend visits and an increase in longer visits, indicative of a robust treasure-hunting culture that is driving demand. 

In Q1 2024, 37.8% of visits to Ollie’s and 37.4% of Five Below’s visits occurred on weekends, while weekend visits accounted for only 32.8% of visits to the wider Discount & Dollar Store category. This is likely due to Ollie’s and Five Below’s growing notoriety as destinations for treasure hunting – a pastime perhaps preferred at the end of the work week when schedules are more flexible.

Meanwhile, the share of visits lasting over 30 minutes in Q1 2024 increased for both brands YoY, even as it slightly declined for the category as a whole. This indicates that shoppers drawn to Ollie’s and Five Below’s recreational vibes spent even more time browsing the aisles in Q1 2024 than they did last year. Ollie’s closeout buying model and shifting array of steeply discounted brand name merchandise is especially conducive to the thrill of the hunt – and the chain saw a remarkable 41.3% of visits lasting more than half an hour in Q1.

Taking Stock

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below continue to demonstrate their consumer appeal in 2024. As the brands expand, holidays prove to be retail highlights while a culture of treasure hunting has shown its capacity to drive consistent traffic. 

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