"We opened the first Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Retail store in November of 2002 on the West side of the Twin Cities in Orono, on Lake Minnetonka. This store is designed as the proof of concept for the model. In June of this year we opened the second store in St. Paul after several years of 'waiting' for the right location. This store is designed to prove the "replicability" of the model. With these two stores up and running, we are in the process of franchising the model nationwide and have completed filing of the UFOC (Uniform Franchise Offering Circular) in Minnesota and in Maryland. Barbara's goal is to have 50 stores up and running over the next 5 years and be contributing $10 million dollars to Breast Cancer causes(specificaaly underserved women, early detection programs and hospice care for those who have lost the battle)
Liberty Inventory and Liberty POS have been our software choices since our inception, now giving way to Liberty 4 Consignment. While we are neither a thrift store (in the traditional sense) or a consignment store, the software has readily adapted to our needs. When it didn't, the Resaleworld staff has been there to help us modify the output to meet our objective. Everything in our stores is donated, either by upscale retail clothing and furniture stores, or by individuals who like to see their gently used articles go to this cause. We don't 'haggle' over prices and we don't have a system of periodically reducing prices like a traditional thrift store. We also provide our donors with an itemized year end inventory (by January 20th of the following year), just in time for taxes. The Liberty system has allowed us to operate this way which we feel has helped us maintain our market edge.
As we roll out the franchise operation, there are a lot of unknowns. It's nice to know that our inventory and POS system are not part of them. We will require our franchises to use the Liberty system because we know how well it fits our operation. Pictures of our two stores and some of the items we offer, as well as more about the Foundation and it's operations can be found on our website: www.hopechest.us. Thanks for your interest."