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Four Winmark Brands Named Top Retail Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine

Wondering how Winmark brands stack up against competitors in their sectors? The answer is: They’re the leaders in their sectors, and they’re getting better every year.

For the fourth year in a row, Entrepreneur magazine named Once Upon A Child® the top children’s retail franchise and Plato’s Closet® the top retail clothing franchise in the nation. The two fast-growing resale brands ranked No. 58 and No. 97, respectively, in the publication’s 2018 Franchise 500 list of the nation’s top franchise opportunities, up from No. 116 and No. 151 last year. This jump in the rankings signals a continued upward trajectory for both brands.

Additionally, Style Encore®, Winmark’s newest Women’s apparel brand made the list for the first time coming in at No. 196 and Play It Again Sports®, is on the list at No. 247 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.

What Does it Mean to Make the Franchise 500 List?


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.

“Our continued high placement and rising rank in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 show that the resale sector is growing, and our brands are at the forefront of that growth” said Peter First, director of franchise development for Winmark Corporation, Twin Cities-based parent company of popular resale franchises 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 60 retail franchises that have been awarded but are currently not open. Its resale brands also recycled more than 140 million items last year into local communities by reselling quality used merchandise back to its customers.

“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.”

The Play It Again Sports brand is the largest sporting goods retailer specializing in new and used merchandise. Style Encore is recognized as one of the fastest growing women’s franchise brands in North America. And, Music Go Round remains the largest seller of used and new musical instruments in North America.

Winmark Affirms Position as Leader in Franchising


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 is a distinct characteristic that sets it apart from other resale concepts in the marketplace. It also has been a key driver in both consumer and franchise growth.

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 December 31, 2017, there were 1,211 franchises in operation under the company’s retail brands, as well as an additional 60 retail franchises that have been awarded but are not open. For more information visit