January 29, 2015 // Franchising.com // MINNEAPOLIS – With the economy slowly recovering, consumers are gradually becoming more comfortable spending money. However, even with the economy starting to bounce back, one retail category that has proven it's here to stay through thick and thin is resale stores. With celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel, Julia Roberts and Lorde publicly discussing how much they enjoy shopping at resale stores, along with parents constantly on the lookout for more cost effective ways to shop for their children, the demand for resale stores continues to climb.
A strong indication of this trend is the continual success and growth 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 2015 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. 108 and No. 140 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. 287.
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 in the ranking reinforce the franchises' strength in the industry. The list rated the resale brands high 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 Franchise 500 for more than 10 years.
"It has been an honor to have such a steady presence on the Franchise 500 list," said Steve Murphy, president of franchising for Winmark Corporation, the nation's largest franchise retailer in the resale sector. "We really couldn't have obtained this continued success without the constant interest we see from prospective and existing franchisees wanting to grow our brands. We are particularly excited about the growth of one of our newest brands, Style Encore, which has very quickly become one of the fastest growing women's resale brands in North America since we launched it last year. And, we continue to be proud of our Music Go Round brand, the leader in new and used musical instruments and gear in the United States."
A leader in the franchise industry for more than 25 years, Winmark Corporation currently has more than 1,092 franchise locations operating across its five resale brands, an 8.7 percent increase from last year. An additional 105 retail franchises have been awarded but are not yet open.
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.
Plato's Closet® leads the nation in the buying and selling of name brand, gently used apparel and accessories for teens and twenty-something girls and guys. With more than 415 franchised stores in the United States and Canada, the retailer focuses 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.
Once Upon A Child® leads the nation in the buying and selling of gently used kids' stuff. With more than 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. At December 27, 2014, there were 1,092 franchises in operation under the brands Plato's Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Play It Again Sports®, Music Go Round® and Style Encore®. An additional 105 retail franchises have been awarded but are not open. In addition, at September 27, 2014, the Company had a lease portfolio of $43.2 million. For more information visit www.winmarkcorporation.com.
SOURCE Plato's Closet®
Fishman Public Relations