The dollar debate

Sophomore reviews the difference between popular discount stores


Photo by Melissa Singleton

Five Below and Dollar Tree reside at 3327 Mall Dr. and 3922 Summerhill Rd. respectively. Both offer a variety of goods for shoppers on a budget.

Story by Melissa Singleton, Staff Writer

Everyone loves saving money. Being able to buy things you want and need for a dollar is the peak of saving money. But are all these saving money stores the same quality for the same cheap prices? 

A store called Five Below moved in next to the mall. A new Dollar Tree has also made its way near the school. Which should you go to? They have the same concept, but overall, their differences help decide which store is best. 

Before Five Below came to our town, I remember my friends talking about how cool the store was because they went on trips and stopped by there. I always imagined it to look somewhat like a Dollar Tree with more toys.

Walking into Five Below is different from Dollar Tree. No offense to the Dollar Tree, but it always feels trapped and claustrophobic in the isles. Five Below has an airy feeling with their white walls and displays. 

A staple piece of my childhood was stopping by Dollar Tree for candy with my parents anytime we felt like it. They have Pixy Stix and the basic boxed candies which blew my mind as a kid. Five Below gave me the same reaction all over again. They have the candies you saw people eat as a kid on YouTube that were so popular. It looks like a candy shop in one section. 

At Dollar Tree, I buy these off-brand Legos that my boyfriend and I like to build and put in a collection. Five Below didn’t seem to have those, which isn’t a problem except if you’re me. That was overall the only downside I saw of Five Below, which isn’t a universal issue. 

Five Below has workout equipment and a lot of stuff I wouldn’t expect to be there. Dollar Tree has many things you wouldn’t think would be so cheap also, just no workout equipment. If you’re looking for a convenient diverse selection of different products for different things, I recommend Five Below.

Dollar Tree is supposed to be a dollar; it says it in the name. Recently, Dollar Tree has decided to start pricing items at $1.25. Many people have thought this was dumb since they always have been just a dollar. There is Dollar General and Family Dollar, which are almost the same stores but for higher prices. I understand why they would need to start pricing a little higher since the products are cheaper because the store might not be gaining profit in a balanced way, but those who have been depending on Dollar Tree as a source might be affected.

Five Below also has a little lie behind the name. Walking in there I saw many things labeled as $10, which is a little off from their name. I remember buying these pajama pants that were so comfy for $10 each, and the only issue I’ve had with them is fabric pilling, which again, is really good for the price. With the range of products and better quality, I’m not surprised by the higher prices. 

Overall from what I’ve seen and purchased, Five Below is a more interesting and diverse choice. Dollar Tree will forever be the candy and cheap toy store I loved to go to, but Five Below is a new and better specialty discount store for the area.