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How Once Upon A Child Continues to Be an Industry Leader

Once Upon A Child® has grown and evolved over the three and a half decades since it was established. While much has changed over the years, some things remain the same – such as Once Upon A Child’s place as a top children’s retail franchise. 

For the sixth year in a row, Once Upon A Child was named the top franchise in its category in Entrepreneur’s 2020 Franchise 500 list, as well as ranking No. 110 overall – up from No. 129 in 2019. 

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Here’s more on the demand and growth for resale franchises, and how Once Upon A Child continues to be an industry leader and strong business investment: 

An Inside Look at the Franchise Industry and Top 500 Rankings

Although we focus our attention more on our brand’s strength and growth than racking up accolades, recognition as a top business in the Franchise 500 validates Once Upon A Child as a consistently strong investment.

The Franchise 500 list is one of the most comprehensive and prestigious rankings in the franchise industry. Recognition as a Top 500 brand is awarded to the best franchise opportunities across verticals, selected out of more than 3,000 different franchise brands.

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In order to evaluate the strength of franchise opportunities, Entrepreneur experts weigh each franchise’s key factors and performance metrics, including: 

  • Costs and fees
  • Support
  • Brand strength
  • Financial strength and stability
  • Size and growth

While top-rated brands excel in each facet, the incredible growth experienced by Once Upon A Child in the last year is cited as a primary factor in the impressive ranking. Once Upon A Child is the largest children’s retail/resale business in North America, outpacing its nearest competitors by 3 to 1 in total store count – and quickly growing. The brand also experienced a 4.3 percent increase in units year-over-year, making it the fastest-growing children’s retail/resale concept. Last year, Once Upon A Child jumped from 369 to 385 franchises, with another 12 units in the development pipeline.

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Even more important than beating out competitors in size and growth is the strength of the business for franchisees. Once Upon A Child also outpaces competitors with 50 percent higher average sales. 

At the same time, the strength and growth experienced by our brand is mirrored by the broader franchise segment. Franchising as an industry continues to outpace the overall benchmark average growth in the U.S. In 2018, the industry grew by 6.2 percent to $757 billion. Franchise employment also grew by 3.7 percent the same year – nearly twice as much as the 1.8 percent economy-wide employment growth figure.

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With impressive growth in an equally fast-growing franchise industry, Once Upon A Child is a strong investment for savvy entrepreneurs. 

Population Growth and Consumer Preferences Drive Demand for Resale

In addition to a strong business model and growth strategy, Once Upon A Child has also proven so successful because of unprecedented demand for children’s resale concepts. 

The brand has grown exponentially since it was established in 1984 by its Ohio-based entrepreneurs. The founders came up with the concept after having young kids who were constantly outgrowing their perfectly good clothes, shoes, toys, books and equipment. They wanted to find a new home for these items while also recouping some of their investment, so they created the resale store concept targeting parents of infants through preteens.

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Demand for children’s resale goods has only continued to climb in recent years, alongside population growth and changing consumer preferences. In 2018, 3.79 million children were born in the U.S., creating additional demand and opportunities for businesses in the children’s resale industry. Not only that, but the millennial demographic starting families today overwhelmingly value and favor resale concepts more than their generational predecessors. 

Demand for resale and the shoppers supporting the industry continue to skew younger, with 27 percent of millennials and 37 percent of Generation Z members shopping resale. As younger demographics continue to have children and prioritize the sustainability and affordability inherent in the resale model, children’s resale concepts like Once Upon A Child are positioned for strong continued growth well into the future. 

Are you ready to become part of the rapidly growing resale franchise industry with a leading brand? Contact us today to learn more about Once Upon A Child and other Winmark resale franchise opportunities.