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2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#220 Ranked #213 last year
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Initial investment
$277K - $418K
Units as of 2023
408 Increase 4.1% over 3 years

Once Upon A Child is a unique business model franchised by the Winmark Corporation. Established in 1984 and franchising since 1992, the franchise is one of the largest and most prevalent children's resale businesses in North America. They sell gently used clothes, books, toys, shoes, equipment, and much more. 

Once Upon a Child is a trusted dealer for parents with young and preteen children. By monitoring safety standards and recalls, the franchise checks its equipment, toys, and other products. It even trains its franchisees to focus on product safety. The franchise's sale system has a built-in pricing matrix that provides price quotes for items with a touch screen monitor. 

As you run your franchise, you'll be in charge of all operations in your store, from which you'll sell quality new and used children's apparel and kid fashion, equipment, toys, furniture, and other accessories.

Why You May Want to Start a Once Upon a Child Franchise

With considerable brand awareness driven by its stores, Once Upon a Child may be a fun business opportunity for any entrepreneur that loves kids' fashion and wants to be active in their community. 

The stores are typically located in strip malls and suburban centers and are usually several thousand square feet. As a franchisee, you are entitled to an exclusive territory around your store, which is usually a few-mile radius. However, the franchise uses mapping software to weigh such factors as traffic patterns, population density, and average household income to institute external territories' boundaries. 

Winmark, the parent company, tends to offer extensive support and training to store franchisees in various areas, including field operations, marketing and advertising, site selection, styles and trends, pricing, and business planning.

What Might Make a Once Upon a Child Franchise a Good Choice?

To be part of the Once Upon a Child team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.

Even though the franchise brand is well-recognized, good returns are not guaranteed. Your franchise depends on your hard work, customer service, and attitude. You should continually strive to offer the best services and products to your customers.

How to Open a Once Upon a Child Franchise

The first step to opening your franchise is to get qualified. You can fill out and submit an inquiry form to get started. Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you'll want to take a close look at the competition and demographics in your area, especially since this franchise caters to families with young children. 

Be prepared with questions as you speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Once Upon a Child team. If your net worth and available liquid capital match the brand’s requirements, you may qualify to open a Once Upon a Child franchise, and you can get started with an initial investment.

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Once Upon A Child

Industry Children's Businesses
Related Categories Children's Retail, Miscellaneous Children's Businesses, Apparel & Accessories
Founded 1984
Parent Company Winmark Corp.
Leadership Brett Heffes, CEO
Corporate Address 605 Hwy. 169 N., #400
Minneapolis, MN 55441
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1992 (32 years)
# of employees at HQ 89
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises in the following international regions: Canada

# of Units 408 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Once Upon A Child franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$277,400 - $417,800
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$75,000 - $90,000
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Once Upon A Child has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 16 hours
Classroom Training 50 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 3-5
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Once Upon A Child landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022