Plato's Closet adds franchise No. 300
Retail exchange program concept Plato’s Closet has achieved a major accomplishment in opening its 300th location in Fort Smith, Ark., according to the company
Minneapolis-based Plato’s Closet is the biggest gently used clothing retailer, enjoyed by teens and young adults in the United States. With no plans on slowing its rapid growth, the brand has seen tremendous adoption over the last 10 years in North America.
Plato’s Closet is currently on track to open 35 stores by the end of this year, with a similar number of stores in 2011 in key U.S. and Canadian markets.
The popular tween, teen and young adult clothing retail concept buys and sells gently used name-brand apparel and accessories at 300 franchised stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Plato’s Closet is franchised by Winmark Corporation, a parent company that also franchises similar buy and re-sell concepts Play It Again Sports, Once Upon a Child and Music Go Round.
Winmark Corporation creates, supports, and finances business, and specifically focuses on leasing and developing franchise models for retail stores that buy, sell and trade new and used merchandise.
has boasted double-digit percentage sales increases all across the board of its franchise system – this has continued to develop and grow over the last few years.
The company is also growing its inventory at a rapid pace – outpacing last year by more than 10 percent – which shows how popular the concept has become among those interested in selling and purchasing new items.
Plato’s Closet purchased approximately 65 million pieces of quality used apparel and accessories in 2009.
“Plato’s Closet clearly meets the needs of today’s franchise investors and consumers,” said Winmark Corporation’s President Steve Murphy. “Reaching this goal is a tribute to the brand’s franchisees and our business model.”
Murphy added in a statement that Plato’s Closet in particular is connecting with its customers like no other resale retail concept, making high-fashion and brand-name styles not only affordable but also easily accessible to young customers.
“As we continue to move forward with our aggressive franchise development, our brand is providing a much needed resource for consumers as well as a fantastic business opportunity for entrepreneurs,” Murphy said in a statement. “We look forward to offering even more North American consumers the chance to shop at Plato’s Closet."
According to Franchise Owner Andy Deal, Plato’s Closet’s buying and selling formula is pretty straightforward. The store resells an item for 70 percent off of the mall price and gives the seller about 30 percent of that price.
“We don't bring clothes in from outside the Fort Smith area,” Deal told The Times Record. “A lot of people here have been to the Fayetteville store, so it wasn’t as hard to get started as it was when they opened, because they’re familiar with it.”
Despite that familiarity, Deal has utilized radio ads to bring people in with clothes to sell, and in turn, those customers sniff out the merchandise that’s already on the rack and ready to be sold. It’s a neat circle-of-life-type of concept.
With about 43,000 fans on its Facebook fan page, it appears that Plato’s Closet is not only taking advantage of the social media interaction, but has also set up individual pages for each of its store regions as well, resulting in an even more direct and focused customer conversation.
Minneapolis-based Periscope has served as Winmark Corporation’s agency of record since 2002, The List database reported.
The Plato’s Closet parent company spent nearly $5.1 million on advertising in 2009. About $3.5 million was allocated toward spot television ads, while spot radio ads received $1.4 million, and the runner-up, outdoor, was given $140,000 of Winmark’s marketing mix.
605 Highway 169 North
Minneapolis, MN 55441
President, Franchising – Winmark Corporation