Valentine's Day was celebrated in Jasper on Friday morning with the grand opening of retailer Five Below.
Representatives with the City of Jasper, Chamber of Commerce of Walker County and others gathered for the store's ribbon cutting at the Jasper Square Shopping Center just prior to 10 a.m. Friday. It was a chilly start to the day with temperatures in the 30s, but that didn't stop nearly 100 people from lining up to be the store's first customers.
"Anytime the doors of a new business open in our city it's a good day for our city," Jasper Mayor David O'Mary said before the ribbon-cutting. "Let me say to the Five Below team, thank you for selecting Jasper."
A groundbreaking for Five Below was held in June 2019, and since then, the store itself was constructed, as well as a new parking lot beside the business.
Jasper's Five Below will employ 20 individuals, and Derek Veal is the store's general manager.
"It's going to be awesome. It's great," Veal said before letting customers inside the store on Friday. "They've been out here for the last 30 minutes waiting to get in."
Five Below sells a variety of items for under $5 and a few select items up to $10. Clothing, candy, toys, pet items, accessories, home goods and more can be purchased at the retailer that is popular among teenagers.
"It's going to be great for this area, something unique and different for everybody — from kids to teens — but we've got a lot of stuff to offer for adults, too," Veal said.
Five Below was recruited to locate in Jasper by Retail Strategies, a company that works with the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County and the City of Jasper to help recruit new businesses. The retail group is responsible for recruiting the majority of businesses in the Jasper Square Shopping Center.
"This is a project that the city, the Chamber, and our Retail Strategies team worked very hard to get here, and now we're thrilled to death to have them here," Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, said on Friday.
Some special incentives are being offered at Five Below to celebrate the grand opening.
All customers who make a purchase at the store on Friday, Saturday or Sunday will receive a free cinch sack while supplies last. The first 100 customers in line on Friday received a mystery scratch-off ticket valued up to $100 as well.
Five Below is located at 640 Highway 78 E., next to Hobby Lobby. The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"Something a lot of attention is given to is bolstering the local economy, doing things to strengthen the economy — bringing jobs, making our city attractive. I commend you," O'Mary told Five Below representatives at the ribbon cutting on Friday. "If it's in our power to help you, we welcome your call, and we're here to support you. It's my hope that your experience here meets your expectations. It's a great day."