Case Study

Reported sales ran over $200,000

This owner owned two stores and as he neared retirement age he wanted to cut back.  He put the store up for sale and even though the store was profitable and located in the best strip center in the area he could not find a buyer.  Starting inventory was $165,000.  He brought in another $14,000 most of which was unwanted merchandise from his other store and pulled out over $7,500 in good wanted merchandise and sent it back to his other store.  Reported sales ran over $200,000, plus over $5,000 in unsold merchandise was transferred back to his other store.  The opening day of our Pre-Showing sales ran over $34,000!  We had 450 players in our Fun Game which helped us hold media advertising expenses to 2.6% of gross sales.


Earlier this year we made the decision to scale back the franchise investment in our retail stores so that my wife could retire. We have been in business for 18 years at our HobbyTown – Delafield location. Despite our strong history, we were unable to find a qualified buyer. Thus, our attention turned to maximizing our return from a store closing- retirement sale.

I had heard about Wingate, so when I learned about the very positive experience of a fellow franchisee I decided to call. The Consultant walked me through the process and answered all of my questions – no matter the time of day. After some additional due diligence, I felt that an engagement with Wingate was a good idea. While we have been through several business grand openings and re-openings, we have never closed a business. Thus it was natural to be a little uncertain about what Wingate would bring.

On June 12th, consultant James Stewart arrived in our store. Writing this letter at the conclusion of our sale, I cannot express how impressed we are with Jim. The results speak for themselves as we exceeded every challenge goal we set. Here are a few of the ways I would describe the engagement with Jim:

  • He knew exactly what to do and how to do it, from preparing the store for the sale, to managing the process on a daily basis, to the psychology of the customer.
  • Whenever there was any lull, Jim would help re-face stock, reposition the store, update signs, and even directly help customers. We had to smile as some people thought Jim might be the retiring owner. He has an outstanding work ethic.
  • He has a calm confidence. Everything he predicted would happen did happen, often even bigger and better. He knew exactly what to do every day and we quickly learned that we would simply follow his advice.
  • The prize giveaway had an unbelievable excitement and following. The competition brought daily repeat customers, and the bonus points Jim set helped move the slower turning merchandise.
  • He has a wonderful, wry, sense of humor that reflected both confidence and humility. Jim is a consummate professional and it was wonderful to get to know him. His presence made a chaotic and anxious time calm and predictable. What a relief for us, he was worth every penny.

On the final day of our sale, our store is virtually empty. The opening day had double the sales of our best day ever. The final sales total exceeded the best December sales in our history. The results say it all. Suffice to say, we are very happy with our decision. We would highly recommend Wingate to anyone. Their retail experience is unparalleled, and it was our great pleasure to work with them.

~ John W. Zingsheim