7-Eleven got its name from the fact that it was once open from 7am to 11pm - unusually extensive hours considering the year was 1946. The story of this high profile brand of convenience stores goes back even further than that, though. In 1927, founder Joe C. Thompson purchased the Southland Company from his former employers. He then opened up several convenience stores and called them Tote’ms. By the time the newly expanded hours and accompanying name change were implemented, Thompson’s franchise had grown substantially and has continued to do so throughout the decades. There are almost 40,000 7-Eleven stores around the globe and now they are all open 24 hours a day.
Start-up Cost: $30.8K - 611.1K
Apricot Lane is a chain of specialty boutiques catering to women. They carry high-fashion clothing, accessories, decor, and gifts. Apricot Lane stores are the concept of Country Visions, a franchising company. The Apricot Lane name can be seen in 28 states, and growth projections are promising.
Start-up Cost: $165.3K - 402.8K
California Closets creates customized storage systems based on clients’ needs and available space. The products are made and assembled in the company’s own shops and then installed by California Closets technicians. The concept was started in 1982 by a college student, after having devised his own organizational space-saving system for his dorm room. Since then, the organization and storage industry has grown, and so has California Closets. Around 100 franchised operations are open today.
Start-up Cost: $127.5K - 377K
Fred Hervey opened the first three Circle K stores in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. He had purchased three local Kay’s grocery stores and converted them to his own brand of convenience stores. With over 6,000 locations internationally, Circle K has grown into a top franchise and a highly recognizable brand.
Start-up Cost: $171K - 1.88M
Clothes Mentor is a buyer and seller of women’s clothes. Customers bring in gently used high end and trendy clothing to trade or sell. They can also purchase others’ like-new clothes at greatly discounted prices. Dennis and Lynn Blum started Clothes Mentor in 2001. The two are also the founders of Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child, both successful resale franchises.
Start-up Cost: $140K - 229K
ColorTyme was initially started in 1982 as an exclusive distributorship for Curtis Mathes products. Entrepreneur Willie Talley purchased the company in 1981, converting it into a franchise system of home electronics, furnishings, and appliance stores. ColorTyme also offers rent-to-own style financing programs.
Start-up Cost: $412.08K - 627K
Todd Giatrelis opened the first Flip Flop Shops location in Boston in 2004. The concept was borne of an experience during a night out in Las Vegas with a friend and co-worker. The friend had worn uncomfortable shoes and was unable to find a place to buy a pair of flip flops for her aching feet. The Boston location wasn’t a huge success, so Giatrelis opened locations in sunnier climates and the idea began to take off. Three years later, Flip Flop Shops franchises were opening up, and there are now 45 of them in the U.S.
Start-up Cost: $169.3K - 274.5K
Raymond J. Margiano, a doctor of pedorthics, founded Foot Solutions after having successfully created another large foot-care based franchise. Dr. Margiano wanted to provide high quality footwear and accessories, carrying only brands engineered for health and comfort. Customers can undergo a full assessment of their feet at one of 240 worldwide franchise locations, enabling them to find the best possible products for optimal foot health.
Start-up Cost: $197.8K
David Goldman and Michael Aychental formed the Gateway company in 1983, and immediately began selling franchises of their little newsstand/snack shops. Gateway specializes in “impulse buy” items, or those little things that people buy on their way to board a plane or in a checkout lane. There are now more than 300 owner operated Gateway franchises in Canada and the U.S.
Start-up Cost: $55.88K - 501.75K
Thomas Walla and Merlin P. Hayes opened the first HobbyTown store in 1980. Hayes had previously run another hobby shop with his wife. By 1986, the company became HobbyTown USA, offering franchises to U.S. investors. HobbyTown USA has grown to include nearly 150 independently owned and operated shops throughout the United States, along with a website for internet sales of its products. HobbyTown sells everything hobby-related including model car kits, games, train sets, remote control toys, and more.
Start-up Cost: $150K - 335K
The Interstate Battery story begins with John Searcy selling batteries from the back of his truck in 1952 in Dallas,Texas. People came back again and again for the good products he sold at affordable prices. In the present day, there are nearly 300 Interstate All Battery Centers franchised around the world selling batteries for automobiles, alarms, electronic equipment, and more.
Start-up Cost: $118.8K - 270.6K
Shannon Wilburn and Daven Tackett started Just Between Friends in 1997 as a way for parents to sell and exchange their gently used maternity and childrens items. Now overseeing over 100 independently franchised locations, the Just Between Friends company has made a name for itself in the entrepreneurial world.
Start-up Cost: $25.44K - 32.84K
Brent and Shauna Sloan started Kid to Kid in Sandy, Utah in 1992. The two researched similar shops across the country before opening up their own. Their efforts paid off and they soon opened a second location, and then decided to start franchising by 1994. Kid to Kid buys and sells quality used kids and baby clothing and products, as well as maternity items.
Start-up Cost: $196.03K - 272.72K
Sharon DiMinico developed the concept for Learning Express in 1987, using her experience as a parent and in the retail sales industry to create a unique specialty toy shop in her home state of Massachusetts. DiMinico’s store carried unique specialty educational games and toys for children. In 1990, Learning Express was taken into the franchise market and has since grown into the largest specialty toy store franchise in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $209.5K - 298K
The Music Go Round name belongs to the Winmark group of franchised companies, which also includes Once Upon A Child and Play It Again Sports. The company was founded under a different name by Bill Shell in 1986. More than 30 Music Go Round stores are open today, buying and reselling used musical instruments and audio equipment.
Start-up Cost: $253.55K - 325.3K
Once Upon A Child buys and sells new and slightly used kids’ items. Parents can bring in their gently used children’s items - like toys, cribs, clothes, and more - and get cash back for them. These items are meticulously inspected for safety and thoroughly cleaned before being resold at a discounted price.
Start-up Cost: $204.2K - 309.5K
Started in 1998 in Columbus, Ohio and franchised in 1999, Plato’s closet buys and re-sells used clothing (and some other items like games, CDs, accessories, and some home decor products). The idea is to make fashion affordable for everyone, dealing only in on-trend products that appeal to the teen and young adult market. This unique take on recycling was the brainchild of founders Dennis and Lynn Blum, who enlisted the help of their teenage son in naming the brand.
Start-up Cost: $197.7K - 376.3K
Play It Again Sports buys and re-sells new and used sporting equipment, dealing in all kinds of gear from golf clubs to ice skates. The company was founded in 1983 and went franchise in 1988. It has expanded to include nearly 350 locations in the United States and Canada. The Play It Again name is owned by the Winmark group, which includes similar businesses like Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child and Music Go Round.
Start-up Cost: $236.4K - 374.5K
In 1921, the electronics industry was practically nonexistent, but that didn’t stop tech enthusiasts Milton and Theodore Deutschmann from opening up the first Radio Shack. The shop catered to ham radio users. As the industry grew, Radio Shack added more products to its inventory. In the 1950s, the company launched its own electronics line, but struggled to be profitable over the next several years. Enter Tandy Corporation, run by Charles Tandy, who bought the name in 1963. He began selling franchises under the Radio Shack name in 1968 and there are now nearly 6,000 Radio Shack stores.
Start-up Cost: $149.88K - 542.35K
Marisa and Jeff Humphries founded Real Deals on Home Decor in 2003. Operating out of a renovated basement, the couple sold designer furniture and decor at discounted prices. Marisa’s sisters began to open up their own Real Deals locations, one by one, and before long they had decided to franchise the company. Now there 71 Real Deals discount showrooms in operation.
Start-up Cost: $76.5K - 130K