The 10 Hottest Industries in Franchising

Resale stores

Plato's Closet
In the "new normal," where thriftiness rules the day, any taboo that might have once been attached to resale stores seems to have vanished altogether. Thus, in this year's Franchise 500(R), you'll find resale stores offering to buy and sell just about everything, from clothing to children's products to electronics. And among young people, resale isn't just acceptable--it's hip. That's great news for Plato's Closet, which caters to teens and young adults in search of "gently used" treasures among its racks of brand-name clothing.

Fast facts
Plato's Closet's 2011 ranking is its best showing ever in the Franchise 500(R).

It also hit its best ranking on the Fastest-Growing Franchises list, at No. 52.

The company's parent, Winmark Corp., also franchises Play It Again Sports, Music Go Round and Once Upon a Child.

Plato's Closet has been franchising since 1999, one of several resale concepts from Winmark Corp., but it has really come into its own in the last few years. In 2010 it added 40 new locations, bringing the system to a total of 287 stores--and launching it to its highest Franchise 500(R) ranking ever, at No. 102. The company has become just as social-media-savvy as its customer demographic in order to stay on top. The franchisor's Facebook page highlights the stylish outfits found in different stores--and how much they cost--and many individual franchisees have their own Twitter accounts to keep customers abreast of the latest they have to offer.

Plato's Closet
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 102
Clothing resale store for teens & young adults
Cost: $178.5K-353.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 287/0

Once Upon A Child
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 137
New & used children's clothing, equipment, furniture, toys
Cost: $193.9K-291.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 237/0

Play It Again Sports
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 209
New & used sporting goods/equipment
Cost: $235.8K-402.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 347/0

Kid to Kid
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 289
New & used kids'/maternity clothing & products
Cost: $151.8K-226.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 78/1

2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 306
Electronics resale store
Cost: $150K-250K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 78/44

Clothes Mentor
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 409
Women's clothing & accessories resale store
Cost: $140K-229K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 32/1

Music Go Round
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 494
New/used musical instruments & sound equipment
Cost: $253.5K-325.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 33/0

Cell Again
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
New & used cell phones, repairs
Cost: $65.4K-156.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5/0

Hut no. 8
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Teen clothing resale store
Cost: $58.3K-139.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/1

Laptop Xchange
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Electronics store
Cost: $183.8K-267.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4/1

Play N Trade Franchise Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
New & used video games
Cost: $205K-327K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 188/1

Uptown Cheapskate LLC
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Young adult clothing resale store
Cost: $228.9K-336K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/1

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 7 8 9 10 Next »
Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the March 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Buy In While They're Hot.

Loading the player ...

Shark Tank's Daymond John on Lessons From His Worst Mistakes

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Franchise Search

Looking to Start a Business?

Mosquito Joe has opportunities available today.

Request Information

Fund Your Franchise with Guidant

Guidant Financal Learn how to invest your IRA or 401k into a franchise penalty-free. ($50k min)

Featured Franchises For Sale

Franchise Expo South - February 5-7, 2015

From the Entrepreneur Bookstore

Franchise Bible, 7th Edition
Franchise Bible, 7th Edition
By Erwin J. Keup and Peter Keup
More Info