MINNEAPOLIS–(Business Wire)–For the fourth consecutive year, Entrepreneur magazine named Once Upon A Child® the top children’s retail franchise and Plato’s Closet® the top retail franchise in the nation. The two fast-growing resale brands geared respectively toward children and teens to twenty-somethings ranked No. 58 and No. 97 in the publication’s 2018 Franchise 500 list of the nation’s top franchise opportunities.
Additionally, Style Encore®, Winmark’s newest women’s apparel brand, made the list for the first time, coming in at No. 196 and No. 4 in the Retail Apparel and Accessories category. Play It Again Sports® is on the list at No. 247 and No. 2 in Sports Equipment and Apparel, as it enters its 30th year of business. This news shows that the long-term growth strategy for these brands is paying off – and potential franchisees can feel confident viewing these brands as strategic investment opportunities.
The Franchise 500 awarded the ratings based on exceptional results across a number of key performance areas, including financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the franchise system. The most recent franchise disclosure documents for both Once Upon A Child and Plato’s Closet show the average store achieving sales of nearly $1 million, with the top quartile of stores producing an average sales volume of nearly $1.5 million. Both brands have made the list for 15 consecutive years.
“The continued high ranking for Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child reflects the durability of our franchise model and the dedication our franchisees have to consistently meet the consumer demand,” said Peter First, director of franchise development for Winmark Corporation, the Twin Cities-based parent company of Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Play It Again Sports, Style Encore and Music Go Round®.
Winmark Corporation has been the top player in the $17 billion resale sector for nearly three decades. The Company closed out 2017 with 1,211 franchises in operation under its retail brands, as well as an additional 62 franchises that have been awarded but are not yet open. Its resale brands also recycled more than 140 million items last year into local communities by reselling quality used merchandise.
“Resale shopping appeals to a wide range of demographics and income levels, and our niche retail brands offer growing families across North America the ability to find high quality, gently used merchandise for everything from clothing to sports equipment and music gear,” said Renae Gaudette, vice president of franchise operations for Winmark. “Each of our concepts is the leader in its respective niche and sets the benchmark for industry standards.”
Play It Again Sports is the largest sporting goods retailer specializing in new and used merchandise. Style Encore is recognized as one of the fastest growing women’s clothing franchise brands in North America. And, Music Go Round remains the largest seller of used and new musical instruments in North America.
Winmark Corporation has solidified its strong position by delivering consumers an in-store experience that is unparalleled in the resale space. The company’s commitment to providing quality, gently used merchandise in a clean, welcoming environment sets it apart from other resale concepts and has been a key driver in both consumer and franchise growth. In fact, many of its franchisees were customers prior to opening their own stores.
About Winmark Corporation
Winmark Corporation, based in Minneapolis, creates, supports and finances businesses. 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®, Winmark Franchise Partners™, Wirth Business Credit® and Winmark Capital®. As of December 31, 2017, there were 1,211 franchises in operation under the company’s retail brands, as well as an additional 62 retail franchises that have been awarded but are not yet open. For more information visit www.winmarkcorporation.com, www.winmarkfranchises.com and www.winmarkfranchisepartners.com.
About Once Upon A Child®
Once Upon A Child® leads the nation in the buying and selling of gently used kids’ merchandise. With more than 360 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 and www.winmarkfranchises.com.
About Plato’s Closet®
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 476 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 and www.winmarkfranchises.com.
About Style Encore®
Style Encore® buys and sells gently used apparel, shoes, handbags and accessories for women. Rapidly growing with 61 franchised stores in the United States, the retailer aims to be the preferred store for fashionistas, bargain hunters and sustainability-conscious women by focusing on the latest styles and hottest brands, all in great condition. Style Encore is franchised by Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Plato’s Closet®, Play It Again Sports®, Once Upon a Child® and Music Go Round®. For more information visit www.style-encore.com and www.winmarkfranchises.com.
About Play It Again Sports®
Play It Again Sports® leads the nation in the buying and selling of quality, used sports and fitness equipment. With 281 franchised stores in the United States and Canada, Play It Again Sports buys, sells and trades quality used and new name brand sports and fitness equipment. Play It Again Sports is franchised by Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet®, Style Encore® and Music Go Round®. For more information visit www.playitagainsports.com and www.winmarkfranchises.com.