SOURCE: Winmark Corporation

December 08, 2010 11:14 ET

Winmark Corporation's Resale Shops Offer Value and Choice to Holiday Shoppers

Today's Resale Outlets Feature High-End Gift Ideas at Budget-Friendly Prices

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - December 8, 2010) - The economic recession continues to strain the budgets of many shoppers. According to a consumer survey conducted by the National Retail Foundation (NRF), 61.7 percent of holiday shoppers say concerns about the economy will impact their holiday spending. Shoppers are again looking for ways to creatively stretch their gift-giving dollars and, for many, this means shopping at non-traditional outlets that offer real quality and value at budget-friendly prices. 

Among the most popular of these unusual holiday shopping destinations are thrift stores or resale shops. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, resale stores have logged consistent growth rates for the past five years, despite a struggling retail environment.

"The NRF survey shows that the recession is not over for the consumer," said Steve Murphy, president of franchising for Winmark Corporation. "While we have begun to see some encouraging improvements, consumers remain cautious about spending. They are searching for ways that they can stay festive and still give gifts without feeling like they are actually cutting back."

According to Murphy, resale stores are increasingly providing the answer for people from all economic statuses. These stores offer gently-used, name-brand products for a fraction of their original price. And, as our "disposable" society embraces recycling, resale stores offer an eco-friendly alternative to consumers.

"The recession, combined with an increasing 'green' sensitivity, has many shoppers rethinking the idea of giving a previously-used gift for the holidays," said Murphy. "Because children outgrow both clothing and toys so quickly, children's resale shops were some of the first, and are still some of the most successful, resale outlets. For parents or grandparents who are giving gifts to young children, resale shops present the opportunity to give gently-used, current, high-end gifts at a minimal cost."

For example, Winmark's Once Upon A Child stores feature an "ahhh-inspiring" selection of those hardly worn but wildly expensive holiday outfits and shoes at a fraction of their original cost. For babies and younger children, Once Upon A Child offers safety-ensured toys and equipment at deep discounts off of the original price.

For both children and others on your gift list, Winmark's Play It Again Sports offers shoppers choices from the latest trends in fitness, many of them featured in the recent "As Seen On TV" craze. The store also offers a variety of quality-used sports equipment, such as hockey skates or baseball gloves, to help parents keep up with their children's growth spurts and changing interests without breaking the budget.

Style-savvy teenagers and twenty-somethings looking for designer denim will find it at Winmark's Plato's Closet, whose locations offer an assortment of name-brand clothing, including gently-used high-end denim brands, for up to 50 to 70 percent off the original sticker price. This combination of discount and name-brand recognition, says Murphy, has also made the stores popular with young people who are buying gifts for their friends.

"For some used merchandise, particularly musical instruments and equipment, the 'experience' of the goods lends a value-add," says Murphy. He cites the trends at Winmark's Music Go Round stores, where experienced musicians can shop for one-of-a-kind guitars with "character" while beginners -- and their parents -- can find value-priced drum kits, entry-level guitars and even lessons.

Each of the Winmark brands also offers gift cards, which Murphy says can be an effective way for budget-conscious shoppers to ensure that their gift gets put to good use. He notes that gift cards are especially well-suited for teens and twenty-somethings who may be finicky about fashion.

"When you shop in resale stores, you don't need to choose between saving cash and giving a great gift this holiday season," said Murphy. "You can count on finding quality, gently-used, high-end merchandise at a fraction of the original price -- and maybe even splurge on something for yourself with the money you save."

In the past 12 months, Winmark has opened 54 franchised locations and has stores in 48 states and Canada. For more information about Winmark Corporation and their award-winning resale brands, please visit

Winmark Corporation
Winmark Corporation, based in Minneapolis, creates, supports and finances business. Specializing in leasing and developing franchises for retail stores that buy, sell, and trade new and used merchandise, it is the parent company of Play It Again Sports®, Once Upon A Child®, Plato's Closet®, Music Go Round®, Wirth Business Credit®, Winmark Capital® and Winmark has more than 900 franchise territories and is publicly traded at (NASDAQ: WINA). For more information visit