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Play It Again Sports, Plato's Closet looking for franchisee in Midland

Oct 02, 2011-- Midlanders may have a few more options when it comes to retail resale stores in the coming years.

Winmark Corporation, which owns Play it Again Sports, Plato's Closet and Once Upon a Child, is looking for franchisees interested in bringing the three stores to the Tall City.
With the nearest locations of any of its shops in Lubbock and El Paso, Pete First, director of Franchise Development, said they see an opportunity to reach the Permian Basin through expansions into Midland.

In a typical year, the corporation opens 50 to 60 stores, he said. With the economy still slumping in most states, First said the market for gently used sportswear, kids clothing and teen apparel has been continuing to increase.

"For us, the economy works great for our stores because people are looking to find value and stretch their dollar," First said. "We knew there were ways to bring that to other areas."
In Midland, where an active oil and gas industry means many aren't feeling the effects of a lingering national recession, First said they've found people still are looking for a deal. Plus, he said, real estate prices in the area fit well into their business plan, which would help make the venture successful in Midland.

"Even though the local economy may not have seen as much impact as the rest of the country people are still looking for value with their dollar," he said.
For some, the benefit of resale shops comes through selling sportswear or clothing. With teenagers growing and changing their minds about trends so frequently, First said it's not uncommon for their stores to see items with the tags still on them dropped off for resale.

"Once you go you kind of get hooked on it," he said. "Customers may start off selling us items, then they'll look."

Unlike consignment stores, Winmark Corporation's stores pay individuals up front for the items they're dropping off. Consignment stores typically pay clients a percentage of the price the item sells for, if they sell within a certain period of time.

The corporation also owns the Music Go Around franchise, though there's no availability for that store in Midland, First said.

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