The four billion dollar resale industry is wide open and growing. With budgets tightening everywhere, trendy customers are looking for ways to save on the fashions they love without compromising on brand. That’s why Uptown Cheapskate is the perfect opportunity for savvy business owners. Founded in 2009, Uptown Cheapskate’s upscale resale franchise model has grown rapidly to more than 45 locations in 17 states, providing stylish clothing at amazing value to our loyal customers. Not only do our stores look more like the mall than your typical thrift store, they run using sophisticated technology and big business operational expertise. Take your first step to owning an Uptown store by filling out the form to the right.
REASON 1: UNPARALLELED BRANDING
Our marketing is as upscale as our store experience. The in-house marketing team creates original materials that are not just effective, but stylish and uniquely Uptown. With custom designs for each marketing need, it’s like having a free ad agency at your fingertips. As an owner, you’ll experience results-driven marketing to reach your target market, a strong brand loyalty, and a beautifully designed store that exudes style — just like our customers.
No stock images for us. From social media, web and email marketing to in-store graphics, public relations and car wraps, our marketing materials are uniquely designed to speak to our savvy shoppers. And if marketing just isn’t your thing, you can subscribe to our marketing service where for a small fee, our marketing department will schedule your marketing emails, update your website and social media pages, have your in-store materials shipped to you and send you detailed coupon and email effectiveness reports monthly.
Check out some examples:
REASON 2: PROPRIETARY TECH
Not everyone can evaluate and accurately price thousands of different clothing brands. The good news? We can. Our user-friendly appraisal software and reporting systems help owners make wise and consistent buying and pricing decisions as well as access important sales information in real time.
Inventory Management and Appraisal Program (IMAP)
Consistency in pricing and customer service are critical components of running a successful resale franchise. Our proprietary IMAP system is like the Kelley Blue Book® for like-new clothes, footwear, and accessories. Using IMAP, our owners are able to obtain gross margins of nearly 68% on the clothing they purchase. With its’ easy-to-use interface and built-in brand and pricing structure, even a novice can function like an expert.
REASON 3: PROVEN SYSTEMS
Our robust management tools and extensive training are effective, comprehensive, and streamlined. We’ve combined the best practices of our top stores into a complete store management package. The result? Easier multi-store management, improved staff training and engagement, and dramatically improved operations.
HEAR WHAT OWNERS HAVE TO SAY
Since we opened our first franchise in 2009, our owners have helped us grow to over 45 locations. Hear what our amazing owners have to say about owning an Uptown!
OPENING YOUR STORE
Once you’ve decided to own an Uptown store, the start-up process usually takes 5-7 months and we’re with you every step of the way. The primary variables include ease of getting financing, finding a great location, and building out your store. Below is a timeline and description of each step of the process.
We provide assistance in site selection and have leasing experts who will negotiate a favorable lease.
Our Biz Planner tool allows you to create sample budgets based on sales levels, facilities cost, labor expense, and other operating expenses. Use this to get an idea of what you can expect from your investment.
We have partnerships with major banks and are well-equipped to get you the financing you need. If you are self-financed, the start-up process is at times significantly shortened.
Our store design specialist will create a customized store and fixture plan to fit the dimensions of your space. She will assist you in ordering approved materials and will work with you and your hired contractor during the construction process.
All new Uptown franchisees complete a 12-day training program, followed by a 5 day internship. Through this combination of classroom and in-store training we’ll prepare you to meet the challenges of owning and operating an Uptown Cheapskate Franchise. Ongoing training is available through the Uptown Training Portal, support calls, site visits, regional conferences, and our annual owner’s conference.
Before your Grand Opening, you will stock your store during the “Open to Buy” period. During this time, you will market to new customers and pay them cash for stylish, gently-used clothes and accessories. You will not be selling any of your inventory during this time.
With a store full of inventory and the necessary preparations in place, you will select your store open date and begin to market your Grand Opening. Your support rep will visit your store and assist you during your Grand Opening event.
|REAL ESTATE DEPOSITS & IMPROVEMENTS||$5,000||$80,000|
|WORKING CAPITAL (3 MONTHS)||$35,000||$55,000|
CONTINUOUS SUPPORT AFTER YOU OPEN
From the moment you officially open your doors, you have a full support team by your side. With over 20 years of industry experience, we stand behind the mantra that YOUR success is OUR success.
Get franchise and small business tips from our team of experts by clicking on Our Expertise Blog!
Our tech team will order, configure, and walk you through complete store network installation. After you’re open, you’ll enjoy unlimited free computer support for the first six months. After that time, you’ll have access to free quick fixes from our tech team, our system helpdesk, and can call on our tech team at any time. Our goal? Trouble-free computer operations that give you time to focus on building your business.
As a business owner, you will become expert in operations, management, financial projecting, staffing issues, product, and seasonal changes for retail. But you don’t need to start that way. At Uptown, you’ll enjoy the best Support-to-Franchisee ratio in the industry, ensuring that you’ll get plenty of tailored attention. Your Support Rep is just a phone call away, and will work with you to implement franchise systems and solve your store’s specific challenges. Your Rep will provide reports analysis, marketing suggestions, and advice on how to grow sales and profits.
Materials: Our customers are savvy, fashionable, and love beautiful things. So does our marketing team! At Uptown, we focus on connecting in a meaningful way by appealing to the green aspect of our business as well as the reality that customers can find stylish clothing in a resale store. We’d don’t do stock photos, clip art, or anything that looks like it was made in Microsoft Word. As a franchisee, you’ll enjoy free access to our creative team for all your marketing needs. Whether it’s a car wrap, billboards, or customized marketing piece, we take pride in our materials. Placement: Uptown has a wide variety of proven marketing methods that have been vetted in multiple markets across the country. Our team helps franchisees with creating marketing budgets, placing media buys, evaluating results, and has even developed marketing campaigns down to the grassroots level. In markets with multiple stores, we organize co-ops to pool resources and increase ROI. Analysis: The Uptown Reports Package is a vital component of managing marketing spending. Our team doesn’t want our franchisees to spend money on marketing – we want our franchisees to invest money in marketing activities that will bring in new and repeat business. As a franchisee, you’ll know how often your customers shop, how much they spend, where they come from, and how they interact with the store. You’ll be able to target marketing materials to shoppers who haven’t been in the store for a while. You can evaluate the effectiveness of your coupons and promotions on customer longevity. Essentially, you’ll have enterprise-level reporting at your fingertips, and free marketing experts who will help you decide what to do with it. If you don’t feel comfortable with marketing, you can sign up for our monthly marketing service. For $200 a month, you’ll receive full support for your social and email marketing, website optimization and maintenance, in-store materials and monthly reports.
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR
- Individuals who meet the cash requirement of at least $70,000
- Mentors who can train a team to be amazing
- Entrepreneurs who believe in our proven system
- Leaders with a passion for business and fashion
- People that are organized and self-motivated
Uptown believes in financial transparency in order to improve profitability. Our financial team will evaluate your submitted books on a quarterly basis to identify areas for optimizing numbers, check to make sure the books are accurate, and to help you achieve your profitability goals. If you don’t love bookkeeping, for a nominal $160 monthly fee, our expert in-house bookkeeper will even manage your books for you.
How much money do I need to open a franchise?
Individuals will need $75,000 in non-borrowed personal resources (liquid assets, e.g. cash, marketable securities, stocks, etc…) along with an overall net worth (total assets minus total liabilities) of $250,000-$275,000 to qualify. We have relationships with several third-party lenders to help you secure financing. The total cost of each unit varies by size and location.
How much money can I make?
In 2013, our owners enjoyed earnings on average of $102,545, with our top owner making $355,374 in net income.* However, your experience may be different and there is no guarantee of success. We are restricted by the Federal Trade Commission and various state franchise sales regulations from providing you with specific profit projections. To learn more about actual experiences, we will encourage you to speak with existing franchisees during the application process. *As per the 2014 FDD Item 19 based on average sales of 27 stores from 11/1/12-10/31/13. Of these 27 stores, 11 were at or above this number. Your results may differ. There is no assurance that you’ll earn as much.
Can I run this business part time?
If you’re looking for a business that just runs itself, this isn’t the right fit for you. For the first 6 months of operation, you (or a vested partner) must work full-time in the store. After that time you can turn the day-to-day operations of the store over to a manager, but our most successful owners stay actively involved even with a management team in place.
Can I run multiple stores?
Absolutely – we encourage it! The majority of Uptown franchisees own either multiple Uptown Cheapskate or Kid to Kid stores (our sister brand). We’ve tailored our support model and tools to help franchisees manage multiple units. What fees will I have to pay? Our franchise royalty fee is 4% to 5% depending on the number of stores you own. In addition, you will pay .005% of gross sales to the Marketing Fund, which is earmarked to develop marketing materials for the system.
I need lots of training—what will that look like?
In addition to attending 12 days of training in Salt Lake City, you will complete a rigorous “pre-training” program and internship to become proficient in the Uptown Cheapskate systems. Your initial training will include business and marketing planning; inventory procurement and management; operations, merchandising and personnel; customer service and vendor relations; bookkeeping and financial management.