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Five Stars Out of Five (Below)

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

Ever since I was introduced to a Five Below store, I realized that maybe the world has some good in it after all.

The idea of a store that promises good, quality products under a certain price range is not anything new – Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General come to mind. One could even say they’re staples of the South. Places like these have... alright products, I’d say, but they aren’t exactly what you’d call the best quality. They’re good, and they’re cheap, and you get exactly what you pay for! All in all, it’s a done deal. Five Below, however, is not that at all. What Five Below is at its core is a store that blows all those competitors out of the water, and for good reason. I wouldn’t consider this blog a full review or absolute glorification of Five Below as a whole – like any other little bubble of branding in our capitalistic society, it has its issues – but I will say that it’s a blog that wholeheartedly advocates for visiting one.

So, what is it about Five Below that makes it so much better compared to the other stores mentioned earlier? Is it their vast amounts of products? Their convenient and clear-cut layout? Their fair prices that will not break a poor college student’s wallet? Is it all of these, and even more? I’d argue for every single point. All of these, and, if I may be a conspiracy theorist, I think there is something they put into the air at Five Below. You walk in for a single thing, and you leave with six full bags of imported Japanese snacks and LED lights to decorate your room with. It’s almost addicting, and I’ve fallen victim to its dangerously lit 5 for $1 candy section on more than one occasion.

I think what makes Five Below most appealing is the sheer amount of things you can get there – it's not like Dollar Tree, where there’s only the bare minimum for every section, or like Family Dollar, where the stock is old and almost never updating. Five Below has its fair number of sections – there’s food, there’s stationery and school supplies, there’s makeup and hygiene, there’s seasonal knickknacks, there’s toys and figurines, there’s electronics, there’s clothes – I think a good comparison is that walking into Five Below is like walking into a baby Target. The difference there is that things are much cheaper, and Five Below is very blue in comparison to Target’s red – but I know that college-aged kids absolutely adore their Target runs whenever they can make them (myself included). With all these little sections with their name brand products, it feels like what you’re buying is worth something! Is that always the case? Of course not! I’ve had tons of duds I’ve purchased from Five Below, like Bluetooth headphones for $8. In hindsight, that was a poor financial decision, but I was also excited at the prospect of Bluetooth headphones for only $8! More often than not, though, the things I purchase at Five Below are quality and last me a long time. These include cozy t-shirts, little lights and decorations for my dorm room, things like mirrors and step stools, and a LOT of snacks. Sincerely, I’ve had a Five Below t-shirt I bought almost 3 years ago for only $5, and it always looks and feels like it’s brand-new. The same goes for chargers I’ve bought there, for lightbulbs, for art supplies like markers and colored pencils – they've lasted a long time and with excellent quality.

Maybe my love for Five Below, in the end, comes down to my love for exploration, for shopping, and for spending as little money as possible to get as much stuff as possible. That sounds materialistic, but it's true. Five Below is a good place if you want an assortment of things that you may not need, but things you’ll eventually not want to live without. Thankfully, there is one in Rome, located on 80 Hicks Drive SE, neighboring Kohl’s and Old Navy. Perhaps after reading this, you’ll pop into your car and drive on over to experience the allure of Five Below for yourself.

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