First 'Once Upon A Child' Store Opens In Japan, Hundreds Planned

OSAKA, JAPAN | Thursday, July 27, 2000

The first Once Upon A Child(R) children's resale store opened in suburban Osaka, Japan. This store is owned by The Duskin Company, Ltd., which holds master franchise rights for Once Upon A Child(R) in Japan. This store will serve as a pilot operation to form the nucleus for additional franchise stores over the next few years. Once Upon A Child(R) has 228 locations in the U.S. and Canada. It is owned by Minneapolis-based Grow Biz International (Nasdaq: GBIZ), America's leading resale company with over 1,100 franchise stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and now Japan. The corporation is listed on the Nasdaq Exchange (GBIZ). Duskin Company is a major franchise developer in Japan, based in Osaka and posting $3 billion annual revenues. They currently franchise 24 different franchise concepts and have more than 10,000 franchise locations in that country. Many concepts carry familiar American franchise names. According to Once Upon A Child(R) Director Rebecca Geyer, speaking from Duskin's store opening in Osaka today, "Duskin has exclusive franchise rights for Once Upon A Child(R) in Japan for 20 years. The agreement is for a minimum annual development plan to open at least 100 Once Upon A Child(R) stores during the next 10 years." Once Upon A Child(R) taps the growing popularity of resale shopping in Japan. Resale is called "recycling" here and has become well accepted. Once Upon A Child(R) provides high-quality, brand-name, excellent-condition children's merchandise to parents at affordable prices. It sells popular and trendy brand names at to 1/2 of their original prices. During the last year, Grow Biz International trained Duskin staff intensively on Once Upon A Child(R) operations and its U.S. stores. They furnished on-site regional field operation managers for one year to help Duskin launch the concept in Japan. Duskin Company is very enthusiastic about Once Upon A Child(R). They see powerful interest from their existing franchise owners and strong attention from potential customers. Grow Biz International, Inc. develops franchises and operates value-oriented retail concepts for stores that buy, sell, trade and consign used and new merchandise. At June 24, 2000, the company had 1,103 stores in operation and an additional 91 franchises awarded but not yet open. Of the stores in operation, there were 581 Play It Again Sports(R), 228 Once Upon A Child(R), 190 Computer Renaissance(R), 78 Music Go Round(R), 14 ReTool(R) and 13 Plato's Closet(R) stores.

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