We initially spoke with multi-unit Play It Again Sports® franchisee Dan Buxton as he was getting ready to open his second store in southern California. Nine months later, we’re catching up with Dan to see how he’s been able to grow his resale sporting goods franchise.
For the first few months, Dan’s new store was in an “open to buy” phase – a period all Winmark resale franchisees go through when they build their inventory by buying their community’s quality used items. While it can feel strange to be buying and not selling as a retail business owner, our “open to buy” phase is a critical time for franchisees to better ensure long-term success.
“There were several people who got here early before the grand opening to wait in line,” Dan said. “They wanted to make sure they got the items that they had scouted out when we were buying inventory.”
Due to his activity on social media and commitment to establishing a strong ecommerce presence, Dan is on track to reach his sales goals in his first year with his new Play It Again Sports store.
Ecommerce Skyrocketing In-Store Sales
The first item that Dan sold at his La Mesa location was a squat rack a customer had been eyeing for days before the store’s grand opening. While the items he predicted would be big sellers have been – such as golf equipment – others have been surprises, such as hiking and bowling equipment.
One of the biggest advantages in selling this variety of inventory with Play It Again Sports is that a customer can come from anywhere, thanks in part to the brand’s ecommerce site. Customers can go to a single website for Play It Again Sports and buy items from their local store or a store on the other side of the country. By widening their pool of customers, franchisees have the opportunity to increase their sales.
When Dan began listing his inventory of the ecommerce website, he saw a 30 percent increase in in-store sales. He lists items for sale online the day after he receives them, with his intention being to make the process of buying from his Play It Again Sports seamless – regardless of where the customer is.
“My goal is that our website accurately reflects our in-store experience,” Dan said. “We want them to be consistent with each other.”
Keeping Community First in California
With his Play It Again Sports store in La Mesa now an established part of commercial landscape, Dan has found numerous ways to keep community first as a business owner. From participating in fundraisers at the local elementary school to having a booth at town events, Dan’s resale store has become a fixture of La Mesa.
One of the biggest ways Dan gives back is his sponsorship of the youth baseball and softball teams in his area. He’s able to provide quality sporting equipment for children just learning a new sport and an affordable solution for many parents – one he hopes continues with the young athletes.
“We hope to have what all the youth-level athletes need, so once we’ve established a relationship with them as a customer they’ll come back when they need better equipment,” Dan said. “That’s a big part of the business – customers buying entry-level equipment and continually exchanging items as they progress.”
At Winmark, our self-sustaining business concept of buying and selling quality used items has provided countless customers with affordable clothing and equipment and our franchisees with a successful business they can call their own.
Are you ready to learn more about owning your own Play It Again Sports? Contact us today!