September 08, 2014 // Franchising.com // MINNEAPOLIS – As consumers continue flocking to resale stores for greater discounts and to stretch their families' budgets, Winmark Corporation's resale brands are seeing the results and continuing to grow rapidly across the United States and Canada to meet demand.
Winmark Corporation's children's resale franchise, Once Upon A Child®, has opened its 300th location, following swiftly in the footsteps of its sister brand, Plato's Closet®. The teen to 20-something resale franchise opened its 400th location earlier this year and was recently named the top franchise in the "$150,001 - $500,000 investment" category by Forbes magazine in its first annual Best and Worst in Franchising list. Once Upon A Child, ranked No. 1 in its category by Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 for 20 years straight, is planning on opening 29 new stores in 2014 with more planned for 2015.
"Any parent can relate to what makes Once Upon A Child and Plato's Closet such great concepts – kids are constantly outgrowing their clothes, toys, shoes and equipment and teens are always trying out new fashions and looking to change up their individual style," said Steve Murphy, president of franchising for Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Play It Again Sports®, Style Encore® and Music Go Round®. "The economy has forced us to become smart, budget-conscious consumers and our resale brands have felt this shift in buying habits. Each of our brands have excellent average store sales, superior gross margins and a proven track record."
Collectively, the company's retail brands are the second largest retailer in the U.S. resale industry. As of June 2014, there were 1,047 franchises in operation across the five brands, as well as an additional 104 retail franchises that have been awarded but are not open.
The company sees Style Encore quickly following the same success as Plato's Closet and Once Upon A Child. Launched in 2013, the brand buys and sells gently used apparel, shoes, handbags and accessories for women, and is already exceeding the company's expectations on all fronts. The burgeoning franchise has 16 locations open and another 34 that are in development.
Winmark Corporation is interested in building on its current success by continuing expansion of its retail brands with franchise partners across the United States and Canada, with specific growth opportunities in the mid-Atlantic region, California, New England area and Ontario as well as the western provinces in Canada.
"No prior retail experience is necessary to become a franchisee of any of our retail brands," Murphy added. "A majority of our franchisees are people seeking a career transition and stay at home parents who want to begin working again but still desire a work/life balance."
Winmark Corporation has supported unique retail franchise businesses since 1988 and is committed to its franchisees' success. The company provides owners extensive training and support including: business planning and site selection assistance; store design and layout; inventory management; proprietary computer systems; franchise-specific product, style and trend training; ongoing small business consultation support from regional field operations staff and professional marketing and merchandising materials, among other benefits.
Visit http://winmarkcorporation.com/franchising.aspx for more information on each of the franchise opportunities.
Once Upon A Child® leads the nation in the buying and selling of gently used kids' stuff. With 300 franchised stores in the United States and Canada, Once Upon A Child buys and sells quality, gently used children's apparel, baby equipment, footwear, 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.
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 Plato's Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Play It Again Sports®, Music Go Round®, Style Encore®, Wirth Business Credit®, Winmark Capital® and www.WBSOnline.com. As of June 28, 2014, there were 1,047 franchises in operation under the company's retail brands, as well as an additional 104 retail franchises that have been awarded but are not open. For more information visit www.winmarkcorporation.com.
SOURCE Winmark Corporation
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