Rank no.235 – Clothes Mentor – US
Products & Services: Women’s clothing & accessories resale store
Number of Locations: 93
Total Investment: $163K – 258K
Began Franchising: 2007
About Clothes Mentor
Clothes Mentor founders Lynn and Dennis Blum previously started two other resale store franchises, Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet, before selling them to Grow Biz International (now Winmark Corporation). They opened their first Clothes Mentor store in 2001, buying and selling used women’s clothing, shoes, purses and other accessories. Grow Biz co-founder Ronald Olson left his company in 2000 in search of a new concept to franchise. He discovered Clothes Mentor and began franchising the concept in 2007.
Total Investment: $163,000 – $258,000
Franchise Fee: $20,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 4%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Net Worth: $250,000
Liquid Cash Available: $40,000
50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 8 – 8. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Training: Available at headquarters: 2 weeks.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Field operations/evaluations, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks,
Franchise Ranking History
Franchise 500®: #235 (2013), #329 (2012), #409 (2011), #470 (2009),
Top New: #25 (2012), #38 (2011),
HISTORY OF THE FOUNDERS
Clothes Mentor® is the creation of Lynn and Dennis Blum of Columbus, OH. Lynn and Dennis have a very successful history of founding high-value, high-margin retail businesses.
In the early 1980’s, Lynn made a decision to start a business to help support their family. With three growing boys, their closets became full of outgrown clothes that were still in great shape. Lynn knew there were other families who would jump at the chance to purchase these “next to new” items at prices far below new retail. In 1991, she opened her first Once Upon A Child® resale store in Columbus, Ohio. Soon after, she opened her second store in Toledo. As her businesses flourished, many people asked if they too, could own a Once Upon A Child® store. In 1992, the answer was “YES!” and Lynn and Dennis began franchising the Once Upon A Child® business. By late 1992, they had sold and opened 20 Once Upon a Child® stores.
At that same time, Ronald G. Olson, President and co-founder of Grow Biz International, was seeing explosive growth in his Play It Again Sports® stores. In just 2 years, Play It Again Sports® had opened nearly 100 stores and had agreements for another 200 stores to be opened. Looking for another opportunity to grow his franchise company, Ron purchased the rights to the Once Upon a Child® franchise from Lynn and Dennis Blum.
Under Ron’s leadership, Grow Biz International grew their franchise offerings by purchasing a number of other start-up franchise brands including Plato’s Closet® … also founded by Lynn and Dennis Blum. Ron built this group of franchise brands to well over 1000 store locations in the U.S.A. and Canada… all specializing in the sale of new and high-quality, name brand used merchandise.
After having served as President and CEO since 1990, Mr. Olson left Grow Biz International in 2000 to find a new franchise brand and start up a new company. For 6 years, Mr. Olson looked at many other franchise opportunities. None compared to what he saw in Clothes Mentor®, which he sees as the next high growth franchise opportunity that is ready to be introduced nationwide.
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MODEL IS WIN/WIN:
Traditional retailers are now struggling in this economy, and Traditional retailers typically only run about 30% to 35% gross profit margins. Clothes Mentor is a different type of clothing franchise. We are a resale store, and resale clothing franchises are excelling in this economy. While delivering tremendous values on women’s fashions to our customers, our established franchise store owners have attained over 60% gross profit margins!
In essence, this means that our stores have 60 cents out of every sales dollar to cover overhead/expenses before the net profit line. This is far superior gross profit margins compared to traditional retailing and clothes franchises. 39% of our franchise owners see a net profit of $132 – $339K pre-tax each year! Our franchisees achieve these results by utilizing our proven business model, proprietary point-of-sale computer system, highly-effective advertising materials, training, and follow-up guidance from our support staff.
The success of our resale clothing franchise is reflected in our current franchise owners. 32% of Clothes Mentor Franchise owners are now owners of multiple stores! The formula for success is something that our franchisees have not only been happy with, but something that is continuing to grow. Resale franchises are becoming more and more popular, and their success can be your success!
The Clothes Mentor management team has well over 30 years of franchising industry experience in this specialized business niche called RESALE. This experience will help you to shorten your learning curve, minimize potential costly mistakes, and maximize this opportunity…your investment.
IT’S WHAT WOMEN WANT… YOU WILL TOO:
Our business creates LOYAL REPEAT CUSTOMERS who LOVE these stores for their:
• Tremendous value on a wide variety of better brands, in “gently-used” “like-new” condition, at about 70% off mall store pricing…available every day.
• Great shopping experience in a well lit, organized, beautifully designed environment.
• Dynamic, ever-changing inventory bargains.
• RESALE business model (not consignment).
• Immediacy and convenience of getting CASH-ON-THE-SPOT for selling us their fashions, which we buy right over-the-counter. (No waiting for months to get paid, and no worrying about missing items as in a consignment shop.)
• Opportunity to take this CASH and update their wardrobes on a regular basis – for less…a lot less!
Owning a Clothes Mentor store is a lucrative business opportunity, and we understand that starting and owning your own franchise location can be a big step. We have a dedicated team of people that work with our current and prospective franchise owners to provide support, and we can assist you with any financial steps you are taking in your move towards franchise ownership. You will receive assistance in the preparation of a comprehensive business plan, and if you request, be given a referral to a third party lender.
WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AWARDED A CLOTHES MENTOR FRANCHISE:
• A desire to be your own boss and take control of your destiny.
• A willingness to work hard, express a positive outlook, and posses a strong desire to be prosperous.
• Proven 5 year success in a business, organization, or corporate environment with experience in staffing oversight.
• A full-time, hands-on commitment to first building and developing your Clothes Mentor franchise business before turning it over to be run by managers.
• The ability to meet financial requirements and responsibilities that come along with establishing, operating and growing your own business.
• Understanding and alignment with our proven business model, core values and business philosophy.
• Appreciation that our franchise business operating system will shorten your learning curve, provide you advantages of power in numbers, systems and experience, while helping you to maximize the potential of this business.