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VOL. 130 | NO. 224 | Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winmark to Bring New Resale Stores to Memphis

By Madeline Faber

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The big sister store of Plato’s Closet is looking to come to Memphis, and new-to-market sports and music equipment resale concepts also are on the way.

Winmark Corp. is looking to bring women’s clothing reseller Style Encore to the Memphis market.

(Submitted)

Parent company Winmark Corp.’s presence in Memphis has steadily grown since 2008, when it opened Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet stores in Cordova. Presently, two franchisees operate seven stores across those two brands.

“The resale market is great, and all stores have a high demand,” said Peter First, direct of franchise development for Minneapolis-based Winmark.

Winmark currently is looking to bring more stores to the area. It plans to add three Play It Again Sports locations in dense family areas like Southaven and Collierville.

Four Style Encore sites are planned, likely in locations near existing Plato’s Closet stores. Style Encore focuses on resale for women’s casual and business clothes and accessories while Plato’s Closet is geared toward teens and young adults.

The company also wants to add one Music Go Round location, which buys, sells and trades musical instruments and sound equipment.

PETER FIRST

Play It Again Sports has over 300 franchised stores in North America; Style Encore and Music Go Round are smaller brands with around 30 stores each.

“It’s a bit more of a targeted demographic,” First said of the music resale store. “With all of the musicians and the music scene that we have there, it’s a natural to have that brand in Memphis.”

Style Encore launched in 2013 and is Winmark’s newest concept.

“The market is a good fit,” First said of Memphis. “The demographics are great and really fit into our business plan. The overall rent structure fits in with our stores and business model, so that’s a big part of what we look at as well.”

Winmark prefers markets that have a good demographic mix. The resale stores generally price items at 70 percent off retail, and First said franchise owners see 60 percent gross margins.

“Once we get one store open in the market, we tend to add more pretty quickly and the territories go pretty quick once we get the first one established,” First said.

Once a franchisee signs on, Winmark will work with a broker on locations for the new stores. First said that Winmark’s customer base works well near big-box stores and regional malls, so it’s looking to be near an existing retail hub.

He added that stores in the urban core are a possibility if the parking situation is right.

“Considering our customer base, they’re all bringing in inventory, so we need to make sure we’re making that convenient for them so it makes sense to have the big parking lots out front.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 81 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 85 329 24,074
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 39 3,086
BUILDING PERMITS 219 672 43,265
BANKRUPTCIES 64 238 13,418
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 56 6,678
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 82 7,871
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 59 4,702