FARGO — Uptown Cheapskate, a Salt Lake City-based used clothing store, is set to open at 2815 13th Ave. S. in mid-May, the store franchisees confirmed to The Forum.

Tyler Hocum, who will operate the store with help from his father, Troy, said the store opening will begin with an “open to buy” period as it attempts to build its inventory.

“It’s kind of a unique situation as far as opening goes,” Hocum said. “Our beginning stages will be what they call an ‘open to buy’ period.”

Once the store has built up sufficient saleable inventory, it will launch for buying as well as selling, with a formal grand opening to follow.

Those who come in with their freshly-laundered used clothes can either get cash on the spot or store credit, which includes an additional 25% on top of the value of the cash offer.

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Hocum, a North Dakota State University graduate, said he and his family “dove into” franchising through several Jimmy John’s locations across Minnesota and the Fargo area. “In a sense, it kind of fell into our lap,” he said of the opportunity to franchise an Uptown Cheapskate.

The store, located near one of the family’s Jimmy John’s franchises, was lying vacant as the family researched potential brands to franchise. “We did a little digging and more research on Uptown Cheapskate itself, and they’re just a solid brand throughout,” Hocum said.

Once opened, Fargo’s store will be one of roughly 80 Uptown Cheapskate stores across the nation. It’ll be the only store in the Upper Plains, with other stores primarily located in the southeast and western United States.

Hocum believed Fargo’s younger market of college students will make for a strong customer base.

“I think Fargo is a great market for something like that,” he said. It’s a younger demographic and obviously there are universities around. We are going to try to cater from young adults to adults, men and women.”

Eco-conscious shoppers will also be attracted to Uptown Cheapskate, Hocum noted, because used clothing is more environmentally-friendly than new clothing.

“It’s kind of a full-circle thing. Secondhand is good for a lot of reasons and it’s a sustainable process,” he explained. “I think that’s become a little bit of the norm nowadays, just trying to get away from the fast fashion and there are a lot of people educating themselves on secondhand.”

Uptown Cheapskate, Hocum said, differentiates itself with its selection, with items “more on the high-end scale of clothing.”

“We’re looking for things that are trending within the last two or three years,” he said. “Nobody likes sifting through a bunch of outdated shirts or pants or shoes.”

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The goal, Hocum said, is to build up a trendy inventory “without being too picky.”

According to its website, Uptown Cheapskate carries popular brands such as Anthropologie, Champion, Coach, Doc Martens, H&M, Levi’s, Vans and Zara, among others.

The store will also feature a brand-new layout which Uptown Cheapskate first debuted in 2020. “It’s a clean, sleek design,” Hocum remarked.

As the family prepares to launch into the clothing market after years working with Jimmy John’s, Hocum said there’s a learning curve moving from subs to style.

“The biggest one is going to be just getting ourselves out there,” he commented. “Everything is brand new to us and we're getting things off the ground here in all aspects.”

Hocum hopes that a discerning eye for what’s popular will help the store develop.

“We’re really putting emphasis on what’s trending,” he said. “If we can keep things trending and fashionable and people can walk into our store — whether they’re bringing their stuff from their closet or they’re just shopping for the day — we want to be able to cater to the consumer in all directions.”

Readers can reach InForum reporter Thomas Evanella at tevanella@forumcomm.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella