Industry Insights

5 Below Scales in Small-Town America with a Grand Opening in Jacksonville, AL

May 8, 2023

MRP Capital is debunking the idea that scalable real estate can only succeed in major cities.

Our Wal-Mart Shadow Center strategy focuses on modernizing an overlooked shopping experience in rural America. The goal is bringing both national brands and local businesses into Wal-Mart anchored shopping centers in communities across the country. The model is working and the MRP footprint is rapidly expanding because of better property management support and expertise in small towns. The latest example? A 5 Below Grand Opening in Jacksonville, Alabama.

Jacksonville, Alabama is a college town with a population of around 13,000. It’s best known as the home of Jacksonville State University, a public university founded in the 1880s. Growing in enrollment rapidly, the university holds great history, and is a centerpiece of the community.

“Having a business like 5 Below come to Jacksonville is just fantastic for this community. It’s very exciting for our residents to see a store like 5 Below where we can come and experience the great prices and the great value and all the things you can find in there.”

– Kim Boyd, Director of Membership & Investor Relations, Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce

The addition of a store like 5 Below brings not only excitement, but new jobs to the town, revenue, and a new shopping experience in Jacksonville. College students, teens, and other residents can take advantage of their excellent deals, low prices, and new merchandise. Additionally, the new business drives increased traffic for long-established local businesses such as Amanda Davis’s dental practice that MRP assisted in opening next door.

Whether working with an established local business or a big brand, it’s exciting to work together with MRP in small towns.Thriving shopping centers, like Jacksonville Crossing, service the whole community and uplift the small town economy. The economic growth, spurred by investments and property improvements from groups like MRP, increase tax revenue for the local government and lead to an improved lifestyle and greater opportunity for Jacksonville residents. Better yet, with more resources and services available, Jacksonville residents can conveniently stay local rather than having to travel to a busier city for everyday errands. It’s all about investing in small towns.

“The most important [thing] is the overall community – bringing that type of revenue for employees and the town,” says John Cusumano, MRP’s Director of Leasing.

That is the MRP way. That’s how we’re going to ultimately change the landscape in small-town communities.”

MRP Capital Group has the experience and knowledge needed to help bridge the gap for larger businesses to scale in small towns. As businesses grow, MRP understands the impact that property improvements have on tenant’s and the customer experience. MRP intentionally partners with national businesses to make their expansion in small towns beneficial to both the community and the established brand. With MRP’s national expertise, the necessary resources are provided for every buildout to achieve tenant’s plans, a timely store opening, and a successful business.

“MRP’s approach is pretty simple when it comes to finding opportunities with big brands. Using our own data and using their data and collaborating, [we find] which of those brands that are growing in those small towns and bring those big businesses to the small town. That ultimately makes the biggest impact to those communities.”

– John Cusumano, Director of Leasing, MRP

For more information on how to help your business scale and succeed, contact our leasing team at (314)-690-2777 or by visiting

Looking to lease or learn more about our portfolio?
Our portfolio is growing in small-town America. Get in touch below to connect about opportunities within our portfolio!