Entrepreneur Magazine Names Plato's Closet and Once Upon A Child Top Retail Franchises

Resale Stores Geared Towards Teens, Twenty-Somethings and Children Take the Top Spots in their Respective Categories on the Magazine's Prestigious, 35th Annual Franchise 500® List

March 19, 2014 // Franchising.com // MINNEAPOLIS – While it's no doubt that resale stores have become increasingly popular due to the recession, the demand has hit an all-time high. The stigma of buying used has faded as more and more consumers today—especially moms, teens, and twenty-somethings—are choosing to buy everything from clothing to furniture from resale stores.

Evidence of this trend is the increasing success of niche resale stores, such as Plato's Closet® and Once Upon A Child®, which are franchised by Winmark Corporation. The two brands just took the top spot in their respective categories on Entrepreneur magazine's prestigious Franchise 500® ranking of top opportunities. The 2014 list named Plato's Closet the top retail franchise and Once Upon A Child the top children's retail franchise; the companies respectively placed No. 115 and No. 149 overall. Its Play It Again Sports brand, the largest sporting goods chain specializing in new and used merchandise, also made the Franchise 500 list, placing at No. 284.

Noted as the world's first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking, the Franchise 500 has become both a dominant competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for entrepreneurs. Plato's Closet, Once Upon A Child and Play It Again Sports positions on the ranking reinforce their strength in the industry.

The Franchise 500 recognized the resale franchises for exceptional performance in the following areas: financial strength and stability, growth rate, and size of the franchise system. All three have ranked consecutively on the list for more than 10 years.

"While more consumers are flocking to resale stores, we really owe our continued success to our amazing group of franchisees and employees—both on a store and corporate level—whose hard work and dedication are what makes our franchise brands thrive," said Steve Murphy, president of franchising for Winmark Corporation, the nation's largest franchise retailer in the resale sector. "With the fast start of our newest brand for women's apparel, Style Encore, and our recent aggressive growth in Music Go Round, we look forward to seeing all of our brands in the fastest growth rankings next year."

A leader in the franchise industry for more than 25 years, Winmark Corporation currently has more than 1,005 franchise locations operating across its five resale brands. An additional 112 retail franchises have been awarded but are not yet open.

Amy Cosper, vice president and editor in chief of Entrepreneur, said, "Compiling the Franchise 500 every year gives us the opportunity to share data-driven insights, reflect on areas seeing progress and acknowledge the companies that have risen to the top. Franchises play an important part in economic growth, and the names in the ranking are leading the way with their continued and emerging business success."

The rankings for all 500 companies are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors. After the financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA, the franchises are given a cumulative score, and the 500 franchises with the highest scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.

The full Franchise 500 ranking can be viewed online at www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500. Additionally, Plato's Closet's Franchise 500 profile can be viewed at http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/platoscloset/282703-0.html and Once Upon A Child's Franchise 500 profile can be viewed at http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/onceuponachild/282652-0.html.

About Plato's Closet®

Plato's Closet® leads the nation in the buying and selling of name brand, gently used apparel & accessories for teens and twenty-somethings. There are over 390 franchised stores in the United States and Canada. We focus on the latest styles and hottest brands all in great condition. Plato's Closet is franchised by Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Play It Again Sports®, Once Upon a Child®, Style Encore® and Music Go Round®. For more information visit www.platoscloset.com.

About Once Upon A Child®

Once Upon A Child® leads the nation in the buying and selling of name brand, gently used kids' stuff. There are over 280 franchised stores in the United States and Canada. Once Upon A Child buys and sells quality, gently used children's apparel, shoes, baby equipment, books, toys, and more. Once Upon A Child is franchised by Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Play It Again Sports®, Plato's Closet®, Style Encore® and Music Go Round®. For more information visit www.onceuponachild.com.

About Winmark Corporation

Winmark Corporation, based in Minneapolis, creates, supports and finances business. Specializing in leasing and developing franchises for retail stores that buy, sell, and trade new and used merchandise, it is the parent company of Play It Again Sports®, Once Upon A Child®, Plato's Closet®, Music Go Round®, Style Encore®, Wirth Business Credit®, Winmark Capital® and www.WBSOnline.com. Winmark has more than 1,005 franchise territories and is publicly traded at (NASDAQ=WINA). For more information visit www.winmarkcorporation.com.

SOURCE Winmark Corporation

Media Contact:

Jayne Levy
Fishman Public Relations



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