Winmark® Leverages 30 Years of Experience in Franchising, Launches Winmark Franchise Partners™
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Winmark® Leverages 30 Years of Experience in Franchising, Launches Winmark Franchise Partners™

New Venture from Winmark Corporation Offers Independent Businesses and Emerging Franchisors Franchise Consulting as well as Potential Investment and Acquisition Opportunities

MINNEAPOLIS - June 12, 2017 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Armed with a 30-year history of successfully starting, managing and growing franchise brands, Winmark Corporation announced today the launch of Winmark Franchise Partners. The parent company of Play It Again Sports®, Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Style Encore®, and Music Go Round® is offering its decades of franchise-industry expertise to help build the next big franchise brands.

Winmark Franchise Partners serves as a consultant and potentially a business incubator for entrepreneurs and management teams who are looking into franchising as a business growth strategy. The company is also seeking emerging brands that have begun to franchise, hit a wall in growth and would benefit from fresh eyes to provide direction and support. Winmark Franchise Partners expands upon traditional consulting services to also offer investment capital for select proven, sustainable business models.

“So often, great emerging franchise concepts stay emerging and either fail or never grow beyond 100 units,” said Steve Murphy, president of franchising at Winmark Corporation. “For these entrepreneurs and emerging franchisors, there is limited human, financial and intellectual capital to assist them in overcoming these obstacles. With our long history, we’ve experienced first-hand the successes, challenges and opportunities franchisors face throughout their lifecycles. This is why we decided to launch Winmark Franchise Partners. We have a strong reputation in franchising, and have the knowledge and expertise to help these entrepreneurs and emerging franchisors and are looking to partner with the right concepts that we believe have the power to grow through franchising.”

Winmark is a franchisor, generating over $1 billion in system-wide revenues annually. Winmark has spent the last three decades establishing a track record of success and credibility through its first five clients - Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Play It Again Sports, Style Encore, and Music Go Round. As of April 1, 2017, these retail brands collectively have nearly 1,200 franchises in operation across North America. Winmark Franchise Partners was developed to partner with other businesses and emerging brands to help them find their path to similar success.

What makes Winmark Franchise Partners unique, in addition to the fact that they currently operate as a successful franchisor, is their ability to offer flexibility in their approach to partnering with entrepreneurs and emerging franchisors. From traditional consulting services to unique investment partnerships to outright acquisition opportunities, Winmark Franchise Partners can specifically tailor a relationship that works for both parties.

To help spearhead Winmark Franchise Partners with Murphy, Winmark Corporation announced this past January the appointment of Alan Majerko to vice president of corporate development for Winmark Franchise Partners. Most recently Majerko served as director, emerging brands with Buffalo Wild Wings. Prior to this he was with Great Clips for 12 years in marketing, financial analysis and franchise development roles.

“What’s great is that we can be creative in how we work with concepts,” Majerko said. “Before we even begin an engagement, we first want to spend time getting to know the entrepreneur and the concept better. Having a better understanding of the business owner and their personal goals and objectives will allow us to provide the right partnership solution that best fits their needs. We are focused on finding entrepreneurs or management teams who need help and would value direction from our deep and talented corporate team.”

Winmark Franchise Partners is focused on helping a select group of emerging franchisors and entrepreneurs grow their business. Not every concept is “franchiseable,” and not every franchise concept is innovative or sustainable enough to be competitive. Winmark Franchise Partners is looking for concepts that are viable over the long run, have proven success at the unit level and the right mindset regarding franchising. The ideal partnership candidate is an entrepreneur or emerging franchisor who is in need of advice and experience on how to start, grow and manage a successful business through the franchise model.

About Winmark Franchise Partners

Winmark Franchise Partners works with emerging franchisors and entrepreneurs who can benefit from Winmark’s experience in establishing, growing and managing successful businesses. Winmark Franchise Partners was founded in 2017 and is operated by Winmark Corporation, which franchises Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Play It Again Sports®, Style Encore®, and Music Go Round®. For more information visit

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 Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Play It Again Sports®, Music Go Round®, Style Encore®, Wirth Business Credit® and Winmark Capital®. As of April 1, 2017, there were 1,184 franchises in operation under the company’s retail brands, as well as an additional 70 retail franchises that have been awarded but are not open. For more information visit and


Mandi Gualtieri
Fishman PR for Winmark Corporation

SOURCE Winmark Corporation



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