Frequently Asked Questions

Answers on our Winmark® Franchise Opportunities

Considering opening your own franchise? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about your prospective franchisor. At Winmark®, we strive to be as transparent as possible with our franchisees and truly partner with them as we take this journey together. Below, you can find the answers to some of the most common questions we get from those interested in opening a Winmark brand franchise.

What is the investment required to start a franchise?

Play It Again Sports® and Music Go Round®
The average total investment to open a Play It Again Sports or Music Go Round store is approximately $350,000. In order to financially qualify, you’ll need to have at least 30% ($105,000) of the investment in non-borrowed personal resources (liquid assets, i.e. cash, stock, or marketable securities) and enough equity to collateralize the balance. The total cost will vary based on size and location.

Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet®, and Style Encore®
The average total investment to open one of our apparel brands is approximately $250,000. In order to financially qualify, you’ll need to have at least $75,000 in non-borrowed personal resources (liquid assets, i.e. cash, stock, or marketable securities) and enough equity to collateralize the balance. The total cost will vary based on size and location.

Will Winmark provide financing for my store?

Winmark does not provide direct financing. Our franchisees secure their financing through third party lending sources with most utilizing SBA loans. Winmark will assist you in preparing a comprehensive business plan to assist in obtaining a SBA loan or other financing once you’ve become a franchisee. All Winmark brands are listed on the SBA’s Franchise Registry, which helps streamline the process.

How much cash do I need to meet the minimum financial requirements?

Play It Again Sports and Music Go Round
A minimum of $105,000, however having more cash may increase your ability to obtain financing.

Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet, and Style Encore
A minimum of $75,000, however having more cash may increase your ability to obtain financing.

How much money can I make as a franchisee?

The financial return you will realize—as an owner of any small business—will depend on many factors including, but not limited to, how well you perform and follow the franchise system, your plan for advertising the business and your ability to integrate the business into your community. Starting a new business involves some level of risk, so we encourage you to speak with our franchisees to learn about their experience and satisfaction with the business—both personally and financially.

By talking with franchisees you will be able to understand the business potential and what is necessary to be successful. To hear from a few of them now, visit our testimonials page for each brand: Music Go Round, Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet, Play It Again Sports, Style Encore.

What are the average annual gross sales for each Winmark brand?

Music Go Round
In 2016, the average Music Go Round store had sales of $944,094 with an average gross profit of $458,213 (48.53%). The top quartile representing 8 Music Go Round Stores had average sales of $1,567,730 with an average gross profit of $743,823 (47.45%).*

*As stated in Item 19 of the 2017 Music Go Round Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by the 32 Music Go Round stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 31, 2016). A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.

Once Upon A Child
In 2016, the average Once Upon a Child store had sales of $966,865 with an average gross profit of $606,069 (62.68%). The top quartile representing 79 Once Upon a Child stores had average sales of $1,501,055 with an average gross profit of $948,454 (63.19%).*

*As stated in Item 19 of the 2017 Once Upon A Child Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by 316 of the 317 Once Upon A Child stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 31, 2016). A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.

Plato’s Closet
In 2016, the average Plato’s Closet store had sales of $963,880 with an average gross profit of $591,781 (61.40%). The top quartile representing 108 Plato’s Closet stores had average sales of $1,432,323 with an average gross profit of $883,162 (61.66%).*

*As stated in Item 19 of the 2017 Plato’s Closet Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by 434 of the 435 Plato’s Closet stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 31, 2016). A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.

Play It Again Sports
In 2016, the average Play It Again Sports store had sales of $814,253 with an average gross profit of $419,073 (51.47%). The top quartile representing 67 Play It Again Sports stores had average sales of $1,406,122 with an average gross profit of $711,659 (50.61%).*

*As stated in Item 19 of the 2017 Play It Again Sports Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by 270 of the 272 Play it Again Sports stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 31, 2016). A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.

Style Encore
In 2016, the average Style Encore store had sales of $633,491 with an average gross profit of $367,439 (58.00%). The top quartile representing 8 Style Encore stores had average sales of $925,776 with an average gross profit of $529,955 (57.24%).*

*As stated in Item 19 of the 2017 Style Encore Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by the 35 Style Encore stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 31, 2016). A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.

What kind of training does Winmark provide?

Winmark provides over 75 hours of classroom instruction and in-store training on the following:

  • Business plans
  • Retail site selection
  • Store set-up
  • Computer training
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Store operations

Our computer support center offers access to technicians who provide assistance with hardware, software and operational questions seven days a week.

Is there any ongoing training once my store is open?

Ongoing training is provided by Field Operations Managers, online via the extranet, and at annual franchise conferences and regional meetings. You’re also welcome to return for any portion of the classroom training you’d like to repeat at no additional cost.

How do I find a site?

Winmark has established guidelines and criteria for site selection, which you’ll learn about during your first week of training. Your selection process is supported by a team of people, including Winmark staff and local and national brokers.

We don’t expect you to have a space prior to signing a franchise agreement. In many cases, starting discussions on a potential space before knowing key negotiation points can be a detriment to the process. Once you’ve attended training and completed your business plan you’ll know what you can afford and have a more thorough understanding of the site selection criteria, co-tenants, average lease term, and more.

How will I acquire my initial inventory?

During training you will learn how to utilize our proprietary computer system to purchase and price inventory. Your store will open to buy gently used items (without selling anything until grand opening) for a period of approximately eight to ten weeks before your grand opening.

What type of individual is best suited to become a franchisee?

Successful franchisees with Winmark brands come into the business properly capitalized, they like to work hard, they are process-oriented and they have great people skills. Retail isn’t for everyone so once you’re financially approved we encourage you to talk to as many franchisees as possible in order to get an overall perspective on the day to day operations of the business.

While having knowledge of the products you’ll work with in the brand you’re interested in is helpful, our comprehensive training program will provide you with the tools and skills you need to be in the best position to succeed. If you are motivated, organized, enjoy working with the public, and can diligently follow our proven system, you are a good candidate for a one of Winmark's franchise brands.

How long does it take to open a store?

The typical time frame to open a store for any of the Winmark brands is approximately nine months.

I'm interested in pursuing this further. What should I do next?

To start the process, complete our information request form, and a franchise developer will contact you to discuss next steps.

If you would like more information prior to completing an application,
contact us toll-free at
(866) 595-0053.

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