Five Below, a Philadelphia-based retailer, has announced plans for a new attraction in some of their stores, eSports gaming centres. These gaming centres are expected to begin appearing over the next year or so within select Five Below stores.
Five Below has plans for a small number of eSports gaming centres to be initially established over the course fo 2020. Should they prove to be popular enough, the plan is to expand and offer these gaming centres in far more locations. In order to create these centres, Five Below has announced that they’re teaming up with Nerd Street Gamers, a training and competition facility developer for eSports based in Philadelphia.
Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below, told press that there are around 100 Five Below stores with the capacity for the planned eSports centres. The centres will be 3,000 square-foot, with 40 to 50 personal computers dedicated to playing video games. To give you an idea of the amount of space this will take up in a traditional Five Below store, they typically have a footprint of around 8,500 square-feet.
Five Below’s target audience is teen, tween, and maybe even younger customers in their stores. The chain has 750 stores, and a revenue of $1.6 billion for 2018. Their most recent featured product was Toilet Time Golf Game for $5, a price that is indicative of what consumers can expect to find on the shelves of any Five Below store.
Joel Anderson told press that making a store a place where consumers can have fun is what Five Below is all about. The point he’s making is about why the chain has to distinguish itself from other physical game retailers, giving consumers a reason to come to them rather than anyone else. According to the Chief Executive for Nerd Street Gamers, John Fazio, the eSports centres at Five Below will be open for the entire time that the associated Five Below store is. Consumers will be charged for the eSports centres on a pay-as-you-go basis, with charges ranging from between $1.50 to $5 depending on the game.
Fazio says that he envisions that the gaming centres offered by Five Below stores will be most commonly used for eSports practice, with the added benefit that consumers can purchase food and drink without needing to go too far. Fazio added that tournaments and leagues in the centres will range from $35 to $100 in price, with Five Below able to sell products during the tournaments in addition to hosting them.
Internet cafes and arcades used to be commonplace, and used much more frequently than home consoles. As the price of consoles has become more affordable, and internet connections have made it easier than ever before to game with others, these physical locations have fallen by the wayside. However, now there is a definite need for these locations once again, since it’s become impossible for a group of friends to practice to become good enough for an eSports tournament outside of a large location.
Over the last couple of years eSports has also become far more popular to watch. With more locations for hosting eSports tournaments, like these ones planned for Five Below, the larger audience for eSports will have more streams to choose from moving forward.