What I Like About the Once Upon a Child (Children’s Resale Store) Franchise
1. With over 240 stores throughout the US and Canada, Once Upon a Child is North America’s largest retail chain that specializes in reselling clothes, toys, furniture, and equipment for children — from infants to tweens.
2. Once Upon a Child buys and sells items that are “next to new,” gently used, current, of good quality, clean, and meet safety standards. When deciding which items to purchase, store buyers also consider the store’s current stock levels and what typically sells at that particular location.
3. Once Upon a Child stores price their merchandise up to 70% off retail, thus offering a great value proposition to their target customers of moms between 25 and 44 years old, from middle to upper income households, with kids under the age of 13. They also target a secondary customer group of women between 45 to 65 years, particularly grandmothers.
4. Families tend to bring their best items to Once Upon a Child first because the stores pay cash on the spot, unlike their competitors who accept items on consignment. Selling items to Once Upon a Child is very convenient because they buy every day — no appointment necessary.
5. Founded in 1984 in Columbus, Ohio, Once Upon A Child started franchising in 1992.. The company is owned by Winmark Corporation, which also franchises Music Go Round, Plato’s Closet, and Play It Again Sports, and is considered an expert in the business of reselling used items.
6. Once Upon a Child offers new franchisees business planning assistance, including the development of a three-year business plan. They have a proprietary computer system created specifically to meet the unique needs of their buying and selling business model. Franchisees receive over 75 hours of classroom instruction and in-store training, as well as pre-opening support in the areas of employee training, merchandising, and store operations.
What I Don’t Like About the Once Upon a Child (Children’s Resale Store) Franchise
1. The only negative I can think of is the large retail footprint needed to operate this particular concept. Once Upon a Child stores are typically located in power strip centers or suburban centers around regional shopping malls, and range in size from 2,750 to 3,600 square feet.
I prefer business concepts that can be operated in compact locations, so that owners can afford to be in the best shopping centers without having to pay an arm and a leg on rent for huge spaces. The amount of retail space needed to run a Once Upon a Child store is definitely on the upper end, so franchisees might have to settle for shopping centers with less traffic.
This is not an insurmountable obstacle by any stretch because customers usually make a special trip to visit a store like Once Upon a Child because of its unique value proposition.