Uptown Cheapskate Franchise Review: Meet Brent Brock
Before Brent Brock became a franchise owner with Uptown Cheapskate, he not only had a decade-long career as a stock broker for a Fortune 500 company, but he also owned and operated a Kid to Kid franchise, the premier children’s resale sister brand of Uptown Cheapskate, for five years. Two years after opening his Kid to Kid store, Brock decided to make the switch to Uptown Cheapskate after seeing how easy it was for our franchise owners to scale our clothing resale business.
“When I joined Kid to Kid, Uptown wasn’t around,” Brock recalls. “When they did come about and started gaining some traction, it wasn’t hard to miss. After doing my due diligence, I just felt that Uptown Cheapskate’s concept was a better fit for me,” Brock recalls. “They didn’t require a lot of labor, have as much inventory, and the average ticket sale was about three times more.”
In 2012, Brock opened his first Uptown Cheapskate store in Acworth, Georgia. Eight years later, he has scaled to three stores with locations in Woodstock and Kennesaw, Georgia, the latter of which opened this year. Currently, his fourth location is under construction in Roswell, and he already has plans to build and open a fifth location in Dunwoody, Georgia in 2021.
Uptown Cheapskate has helped entrepreneurs like Brock excel in business for more than a decade. With more than 80 locations in 24 states, Uptown Cheapskate offers a sustainable shopping experience that helps young adults buy and sell fashionable, name-brand items. As a franchise opportunity, we provide not only a simple to understand business model that is easy to scale, but have also designed a world-class training and support platform. This includes everything from initial training to marketing, financial coaching, grand opening, support and more.
Brock has found this to be true since opening his initial store in Acworth. The store has since become one of Uptown Cheapskate’s highest grossing stores for the past several years straight. Brock credits the store’s success to not only following our proven business model and working with our exceptional marketing team, but to also creating a collaborative culture that empowers his employees.
“The volume of our sales is impressive because the store is only 4,500 square feet,” Brock says. “I’m very proud of this location because we were the first Uptown Cheapskate to open in the Atlanta area. In the beginning, we had no brand recognition whatsoever and people constantly said our name wrong. Uptown has a great marketing team and we worked hard on our branding to get it to where it is now. The first two years were tough and there were times we weren’t sure we were going to make it or not. Fortunately, our hard work paid off and having other Uptown stores open in the area helped to spread brand awareness as well.
“Additionally, I couldn’t have the successful track record I have without my team,” he adds. “One takeaway I kept from working in Corporate America was the importance of cultivating relationships and having good customer service. Although they both are always a work in progress, you truly have to put in the work to deliver on them. It’s important to have buy-in from your employees, to acknowledge and reward their hard work, as well as empower and help them grow. I’ve also found success hiring people who are passionate about resale and fashion. So when you are fortunate enough to find people who are all in on fashion and value collaboration, they will make great team members.”
For entrepreneurs considering investing in Uptown Cheapskate, Brock says that the time is now as the resale market is becoming more and more popular by the day. And the industry agrees. In fact, ThredUp reports that the resale industry is estimated to reach $64 billion within the next 10 years.
“I believe the last couple of years we have only scratched the surface of the resale market,” he says. “Resale has now become so popular that everyone is trying to figure out how to successfully do it. There are plenty of online stores popping up trying to gain their share of the market and major companies are even trying their hand at resale. However, none of these brands compare to Uptown Cheapskate. Everything that you need to excel in this industry we already have in place. This includes a low cost of entry, and a proven business model that is easily scalable. It’s the right business at the right time, which is the reason why I continue to reinvest in the brand. I think the best is yet to come because resale shopping is affordable no matter who you are.”
As he looks towards the future, Brock plans to continue making his stores profitable and scaling his business as much as he possibly can.
“The good thing about being a multi-unit owner is that the more stores you own doesn’t mean that they all have to be million-dollar stores,” he says. “When we opened Woodstock in 2017, we had the highest grand opening that year. It’s not a top store yet, but I expect it to be in the next year or two. So far our Kennesaw location, which is located near Kennesaw State University, has been the top new store opening during the pandemic and the No. 3 top opening store in the history of Uptown’s system. I think this location will end up being our best store because of its location. Having our store next to the university we are hoping to tap into that market of millennials who love shopping resale and being sustainable.”