3 Strategies that Help Resale Franchise Owners Stock On-Trend Apparel

Over the past several years, the resale retail industry has been booming. Winmark, The Resale Company™, the parent company to our resale retail brands like Plato’s Closet® and Style Encore®, continues to cater to local communities by providing them with high-quality, gently used apparel that is stylish, affordable and on-trend.

With the return of in-person events, gatherings and activities, there’s never been a better time to open an apparel resale franchise. The demand for gently used clothing is continuing to climb, and our franchisees are uniquely positioned to cater to this growing appeal.

To remain among the leading retail franchises, we’ve developed three strategies to help our franchisees maintain in-demand apparel.

1. Follow Our Fashion-Forward Franchise Model

With more than 30 years of experience in the franchise industry, we pride ourselves on developing a proven business model that allows our apparel resale brands to stay relevant and fashion-forward. Ahead of opening either a Plato’s Closet or Style Encore store, the Winmark corporate team trains franchisees on fashion trends and what to look for when collecting gently used items. We provide support so our franchisees won’t have to figure it out for themselves. Every franchisee is trained on what to look for when collecting clothing items, such as:

  • Brand
  • Category
  • Condition
  • Seasonality
  • Trend

From there, franchisees can train their employees to become fashion-forward experts as well. Knowing what to look for will keep your inventory up-to-date and in demand.

2. Utilize Our Business Intelligence Tools

We offer two business intelligence tools designed to help further our franchisees and employees maintain in-demand apparel items. The first tool that franchisees use for business intelligence is our data recycling system (DRS), which integrates with our point-of-sale system. All items bought in the store are individually tracked and downloaded in the DRS inventory system, which allows us to see which items were purchased and when.

Thanks to the data provided by the DRS, franchisees can better understand what’s available to sell and what’s in demand at a highly localized level. As a result, franchisees can better manage their inventory and have clear visibility into what customers are purchasing and whether their staff may need to replenish the sales floor with particular items. This tool helps owners know which items are in or out of season and when to consider markdowns or clearance.

Another tool available to our franchisees is Winmark Remote, our online reporting system. This tool allows franchisees to see what categories should be dedicated additional space in the store and when to adjust the sales floor. Floor allocation tools help determine the amount of space that should be dedicated to each of the individual categories of products.

Winmark Remote can also generate reports that help franchisees understand when their peak buying and selling times are, which can be broken down by the hour, day or any given date range. So, the business owner can staff appropriately to ensure customers have the best, most efficient in-store experiences possible.

3. Host Local Events to Supply New Stock

Another creative way our franchisees can retain in-demand apparel is to host engaging customer events to drive new inventory. Hosting seasonal or quarterly events is a great way to encourage sellers to bring their gently used, on-trend items. Events with themes based on season, apparel brands or product type have shown the potential to drive customer traffic.

Our franchisees are encouraged to host safe local events to supply new inventory. Some ideas for events include:

  • Brand-specific events: Such as a gently used Lululemon-themed athleisure event that encourages sellers to bring a specific brand or type of items.
  • Seasonal events: Such as a back-to-school party that encourages sellers to bring on-trend items for the new season.

Additionally, our franchisees can continue to drive customer loyalty and ongoing business by promoting our rewards program. With our rewards program, every time our customers shop or sell their gently used items, they’ll earn points and receive access to exclusive discounts, special promotions, store events and more, providing them several reasons to return to our stores.

Our franchisees are set for success with proven strategies designed to maintain and grow their businesses, meeting the rising demand for gently used clothing items and a global push toward sustainability.

To learn more about becoming part of the multi-billion resale apparel industry, check out the franchise opportunities for Plato’s Closet and Style Encore.

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