Kid to Kid Franchise Review: Meet Craig Smith
CFO of the dynamic children’s resale clothing franchise explains why owning a recession-resistant business like Kid to Kid is a wise choice for entrepreneurs
Kid to Kid, one of the nation’s fastest-growing children’s resale clothing franchises, has helped entrepreneurs thrive in a business that families rely on to keep their children in the latest fashion without spending a fortune in the process.
In recent months, we have seen how invaluable it is to be a part of a franchise system like Kid to Kid. By mobilizing the entire support platform to help franchisees continue to thrive during the recent pandemic, their stores were able to allow families in their communities to continue to stretch their dollars on name brand, fashionable clothing, at a time when they needed it most.
For Craig Smith, CFO of BaseCamp, the recent crisis reflects the true value proposition of franchising: entrepreneurs will not be in business by themselves, and in good times and bad, they will receive the support they need to thrive and be successful in business. In this wide-ranging interview, Smith shares everything from how the thriving children’s resale clothing franchise’s business model is designed to help franchise owners maximize profitability, to what makes Kid to Kid a wise investment, and why franchising is more attractive than ever.
How did the pandemic impact Kid to Kid?
Smith: The retail industry was hit significantly and so were our stores. From the very beginning, we increased our communications with our franchisees. Although we were a great help to all of them, I think we played a bigger role with those just joining our franchise family. So, the new franchisees who weren’t open yet, were working through their construction phase or looking to purchase a franchise. The main issues for those ongoing projects were with the SBA, as they stopped funding projects due to the crisis. My role there was acting as a liaison between the bank and the franchisee helping them to answer questions, and create new forecasts that took into consideration how the pandemic would impact their project going forward. In the end, I think I was useful and comforting in many ways because things could’ve been worse.
What procedures and precautions were implemented in store to maintain safety as your stores reopened?
Smith: We’ve opened 90% of our stores so far, and nearly all of our Uptown Cheapskate stores are open. Initially, we provided some general directives with the reopening of our stores. However, we’ve followed the local municipalities our stores are located in to ensure they adhere to the new safety regulations. We have been very aggressive in our communications with our franchisees to make sure they know we are on board with all of the safety provisions, which, I think, gave them confidence that we are aware of what’s happening. Ultimately, I think our communicating these things and working alongside our franchisees during such a difficult time showed that we not only care, but are also willing to work with the rest of the community to keep everyone safe.
How has the response been from consumers since reopening the Kid to Kid stores?
Smith: Honestly, we are shocked about how well we have rebounded because it has exceeded our expectations. I think this pandemic has truly shined a light on our stores because in a down economy both Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate are needed. The opportunity to be able to sell and make money off of your clothing — and having the opportunity to shop for great clothes at a great price — is very attractive to those in a bad economy. Additionally, before this happened, the resale industry was already on a fast track upward. I think this pandemic will only accelerate that and I believe our brands are in a position to be of great service to all of the communities we serve.
This unfortunate time has proved challenging for independent business owners across the nation. What makes the franchising model more attractive than it was before the pandemic?
Smith: There are many advantages to franchising, but having exceptional support behind you is number one. For our new franchise owners, being a part of the Kid to Kid franchise system has been paramount. They all felt they were in a situation that was desperate because they made huge investment decisions to get into business ownership. And with no fault to anyone, everything seemed to be crashing down. Having the experience BaseCamp has, coupled with our support team of more than 50 people, we were able to help our franchisees make decisions during a difficult time, which gave them confidence in the system backing them.
Why is now the time to invest in a Kid to Kid franchise?
Smith: Now is the time to invest in a Kid to Kid children’s resale clothing because all indicators point to it as a great option in which to invest. Not only is the $24 billion resale clothing industry growing, but also here at Kid to Kid, we are very optimistic that our system is well positioned to be of great service as the industry grows. So if you’re looking for a simple-to-run, simple-to-scale business model, Kid to Kid is a great choice. Additionally, this is a great time to invest financially because interest rates are low and real estate may become more available and cost effective as we move forward.