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The Computer vs. the Cool Girl

Resale is hot in this economy, which is why there's a franchise for hip new threads. But can you really program that judgy girl behind the counter?

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This story appears in the February 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The greatest hand-me-down from the weak just might be the resale shop. Sales in second-hand stores leaped $223.3 million last year, according to --that's a 31 percent jump in business, when the rest of retail is foundering.

The trend caught Shauna Sloan's attention, and in 2009, she expanded her children's retail franchise operation, Kid to Kid, to include a hip resale exchange called Uptown Cheapskate. Stores in Salt Lake City and Greensboro, N.C., are already up and running, and four more are slated to open this year. "Our stores are doing wonderfully in the recession," Sloan says. "People are now proud of finding deals--it's in vogue to be thrifty."

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