Five Below opening soon in Trumbull’s Hawley Lane plaza
The store, which sells a variety of colorful products priced at $5 or less, is expected to open in mid-September, according to Kelly Durcan, a spokesman for the company.
Five Below has stores in Danbury and Milford, and recently opened a Norwalk location. In Trumbull, the store will take over the approximately 9,600-square-foot space on the outside of the Hawley Lane plaza that has been empty for roughly a year.
“I think it’s a positive thing for Hawley Lane,” said Rina Bakalar, Trumbull’s economic development director. “I think it’s a fun retail option.”
Business owners in the mall, who had expressed their dismay earlier this year over the dwindling foot traffic due to the numerous vacancies there, said they were not sure the addition of Five Below would be enough to aid their struggling stores.
“We’re happy a tenant is coming in, but we’re not happy they built a wall inside,” said Xuong Phan, owner of Hawley Lane Nails.
While seeing one of the three or four empty spaces in the mall occupied is a good thing, Phan, whose business is only accessible from inside the mall, said he’s not sure why Five Below, which is now working to outfit its new space, was allowed to create a wall where there once was a glass partition and entrance to the inside of the plaza.
“It looks terrible,” Phan said, noting that it also keeps people going into the new store from seeing his business.
Bakalar said she doesn’t think the wall will prevent people from seeing what else the mall has to offer. “I think just bringing people on the site is going to be positive for anybody in the mall,” she said.
Tony Salluhi, whose store, TJ’s Discount Wine & Liquors, does have an exterior entrance, said he is not sure what to expect from the addition of Five Below to the plaza. “We’re excited about it,” he said. “But as far as what kind of people they bring in, I have no clue.”
He said he has heard area residents were hoping for a more upscale retailer to join Kohl’s, HomeGoods and Best Buy, the other major tenants in the mall.
Salluhi said he is cautiously optimistic that National Realty & Development Corp., which owns and manages Hawley Lane, will continue to bring more tenants into the plaza. “We’re looking for the foot traffic,” he said. “We need tenants.”
In an email, Nick Hrvatin, a leasing representative with Purchase, N.Y.-based National Realty, said the company also recently signed a lease with H&R Block to expand in the 2,330-square-foot former RadioShack space.
H&R Block’s current 1,100-square-foot space in the mall is now being marketed for lease.