Once Upon a Child® Franchise

OUAC---Nov_13_Johnson_Exterior---Investment-PageIt’s no secret – kids grow and keeping up with their changing sizes and styles can be expensive! Once Upon A Child, North America’s #1 children’s resale franchise, fills this need and is the solution for parents looking for high quality gently used children’s apparel, toys, shoes, baby equipment and accessories at affordable, family-friendly prices.

The sale of children’s apparel and other children’s products is big business. In fact, there are over 50 million children ages 12 and under in North America and that number keeps growing! And Once Upon A Child continues to grow with this market, buying and selling millions of items each year to help the needs of every growing family!

As the established leader in the children’s resale-retail space, Once Upon A Child is the largest North American chain specializing in buying and selling clothing, shoes, toys, equipment and accessories for infants through tweens. With more than 340 locations across the U.S and Canada, we outnumber our competition, Children’s Orchard® and Kid to Kid®, more than 3 to 1. Unlike our competitors, we don’t believe in consigning so we pay cash on the spot! We also buy all seasons – all day, every day – with no appointment necessary.

There is an amazing amount of gently used clothing, toys, baby gear and more hidden in every family’s home which presents fantastic opportunities for franchise owners. By targeting three primary consumer groups – parents looking to stretch the family budget, growing children constantly in need of new outfits, toys and equipment and the relatives of parents with children – Once Upon A Child franchisees build tremendous client loyalty and repeat business by creating a marketplace in which both the seller and buyer profit. At Once Upon A Child everyone wins: the seller because they now have a market to sell unwanted or outgrown children’s merchandise, and the buyer because they can purchase items at up to 70% off regular retail pricing. The customer who both buys and sells at our stores gets the added benefit of payment on the spot plus great savings on their purchase!

While the franchise model is proven, the financial health of our franchisees is the key to the success and growth of the brand. In 2015, the average Once Upon A Child location had sales of $963,270*. The top 25% (73 stores) stores reached an average sales volume of $1,508,159*. When you factor in an average Gross Margin of over 62% you can see why Once Upon A Child is one of the best franchise opportunities available today. In fact, Once Upon A Child is ranked #1 in its category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and has been in the Top 500 for the last 21 years!

Starting a small business is exciting and can be a bit overwhelming. With nearly 30 years of experience in franchising and more than 1,184 locations, Winmark Corporation has the support, training and tools to make your dream of opening your own business a reality!

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Get Qualified

Proper capitalization is the key factor when starting any small business, therefore financial approval is the first and most important step in our initial review process for new franchise candidates.  We qualify our candidates based on an initial investment of approximately $250,000. We require at least $75,000 in liquid assets (cash or stocks) and enough equity to use as collateral for a loan to cover the balance of the investment. If you’re ready to take the first step in the process, Inquire Now.

Meet Our Franchisees

Our franchisees are people just like you, coming from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences.  Many times, they started their journey as a customer of the store or they knew someone who owned a Winmark franchise and realized there was a need in their market for Once Upon A Child! The best advice you can get is from our current owners in our franchise system!  Once you’re financially approved, you will continue your due diligence, which will include talking with our franchisees to hear about their experience and to gain some insight into the opportunities you will have as a Once Upon A Child franchisee. Let’s hear what you’ll learn from our franchisees.

Attend Discovery Day

Once you’ve completed some of your due diligence and talked with some of our franchisees, you’ll be invited to Discovery Day in Minneapolis.  Discovery Day is an opportunity for you to meet the Once Upon A Child team you’ll be working with as an owner.  You’ll enjoy meeting experts from Real Estate, Training, Field Operations, Marketing and more!  You’ll also meet with the Brand Director for an informal interview to see if this is the right fit for both parties.  Discovery Day is also our chance to see if this is the right fit for Winmark!

Join the Once Upon A Child Team

After you’re approved following Discovery Day, it’s time to sign the franchise agreement and get the process started! The first thing you’ll want to do is to get scheduled for training and the process toward your grand opening will begin! Our typical store opening process takes about nine months from start to finish.  Territories are going fast, so if you have an interest in opening a store, start the process today!

Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child

Sales: Once Upon A Child

Sales: Once Upon A Child

**Amounts stated are as reported in Item 19 of the 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Once Upon A Child® Franchise Disclosure Documents, respectively (based on the previous year’s Gross Sales). In 2010, of the 219 stores that reported, 98 or 45% of the reporting stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Sales. In 2012, of the 243 stores that reported, 110 or 45% of the reporting stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Sales. In 2014, of the 273 stores that reported, 124 stores or 45% of the reporting stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Sales. In 2015, of the 293 stores that reported, 134 stores or 46% of the reporting stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Sales. A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.





Once Upon A Child Fast Facts

  1. Sales and Gross Margin:

    Top Quartile Average Gross Sales: $1,508,159*
    Top Quartile Average Gross Profit: $958,252*

  2. Core Customers:

    Moms age 25 – 44
    Females age 45-65 (aunts, grandmothers)
    Presence of kids under age 14; Lower middle to upper-middle income households

  3. Product Mix:

    94% Gently Used
    6% New
    Product Selection: Clothing, toys, shoes, accessories, equipment and furniture for children, infant to pre-teen.

  4. Real Estate:

    Power strip centers or suburban centers around regional shopping malls
    3,600 – 4,200 square feet