Once Upon A Child Continues Canadian Expansion

Brampton store. Photo: Supplied

Brampton store. Photo: Supplied

Unique Winmark Corporation-owned children’s resale concept Once Upon a Child is continuing with its Canadian expansion plans. Last week it opened a store in Brampton, Ontario to huge crowds, and the retail concept will continue to expand nationally through franchisees. 

Once Upon a Child stores buy and sell gently-used children's apparel, shoes, books, baby equipment, furniture, and various other related items. The recycling concept provides families an affordable way to keep up with fast-growing kids, and the retailer pays cash on the spot for items brought to sell in the store. Stores ensure that all products purchased and sold meet mandatory and voluntary safety standards, and staff members stay up-to-date on current recalled items, immediately pulling all recalled products from shelves and making sure all items purchased are safety-checked to meet current standards.

Brampton franchisee Tim Ryder, who’s 370 Main Street (Unit 122) store opened last week, explained how the store had a line-up at 7:00 am prior to opening -- which isn’t unusual for such a store. The retail space was open to receive resale items for about 10 weeks prior to the retail grand opening, and customers had seen some hard-to-find items and wanted to get to them quickly. Mr. Ryder said that the store was jam-packed for several hours with shoppers making large purchases, with the afternoon remaining busy with promotions, entertainment and face painting for children. 

Photo: Once Upon a Child

Photo: Once Upon a Child

Once Upon a Child is seeking Canadian franchisees for its continued expansion. There are currently 22 territories open in Canada for Once Upon A Child franchisees. The company has signed agreements for various sites, so the company is not soliciting sites from landlords at this time. The company utilizes Aurora Realty Consultants as its Canadian brokerage. 

Minneapolis-based Winmark specializes in developing franchises for retail stores that buy, sell and trade new and used merchandise. It’s the parent company to retail concepts Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Play It Again Sports, Music Go Round, Style Encore, Wirth Business Credit and Winmark Capital. All focus on different demographics but adhere to the same frugal concept of ‘sell.buy.repeat’. The company’s retail brands have in excess of 1,150 franchised operations in North America with over $1 billion in sales, and it continues to expand rapidly. Winmark first entered the Toronto market in 1993 with the opening of a Play It Again Sports store in Whitby.

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: August 25, 2016