Since its founding more than four decades ago, Rent-A-Center has made a name for itself as the premier rent-to-own player in the overall retail industry. With nearly 2,400 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico, and in control of an estimated 35 percent of the entire rent-to-own market space in the U.S., Rent-A-Center continues taking steps to bolster its position as the leader in the industry.
There are countless advantages to joining the Rent-A-Center franchise system. Here are the top five reasons to consider this brand.
Professional franchisees are already well-established in their respective segments. They may be in quick-service restaurants, home services or the fitness space. Rent-A-Center offers an incredibly viable option for those seeking to diversify their portfolio into non-traditional lines of business.
Vik Patel, a veteran franchisee with brands including Dunkin’, Popeye’s and The Brass Tap, elected to invest in Rent-A-Center to expand the scope of his portfolio.
“Everything we had before is in the QSR restaurant space, and we were looking for something outside of that,” Patel said. “So, I started looking into different options. I became familiar with Rent-A-Center’s concept through my friend Shirin, and my partner David and I decided it was something we were looking to do.”
National Brand Recognition
Rent-A-Center has been around long enough to be recognized by both active and passive consumers of the brand as the go-to option in the rent-to-own space. The brand’s consistency across its thousands of locations adds to its strong reputation, generating repeat business and recurring revenue for franchisees.
Today, Rent-A-Center is bolstering its national presence even further by strategically leveraging social media and digital platforms to attract new consumers and updating processes and procedures to stay ahead of market demands. The brand is also a perennial feature on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 Ranking, securing the No. 200 spot on this year's list.
“Our business targets consumers who are cash- and credit-challenged,” said Rent-A-Center Franchise Development Manager Rudy Frederico. “In the event the economy shifts into recession, Rent-A-Center opens itself up into higher-income markets as credit becomes more of a constraint. As long as consumer confidence is in buy mode, our products continue to be of value to a large number of people.”
Low Labor Count
A welcome departure from the labor demands that franchisees within the quick-service restaurant space experience, Rent-A-Center’s business model requires very few employees to function at maximum capacity.
“Rent-A-Center operates most stores with a five-person team,” Frederico said. “We are less impacted by the wage hikes that are continuing to increase in our current economy, making our business opportunity that much more competitive. Further, increases wages to the market in general provides more disposable income to our customer to buy more product.”
Amplifying the positive effects of a low labor count are the consistently high earnings Rent-A-Center franchisees can expect. Where traditional franchising is unpredictable in this arena, Frederico said, Rent-A-Center’s strategy of re-franchising existing company-owned units provides a buyer or investor valuable insight to store performance.
“Our current strategy of selling blocks of stores in consolidated markets gives franchisees control of their geography for consistent operations and promotion in the region,” Frederico said.
The brand continues to pursue area development agreements with qualified franchisees like Vik Patel who signed on to take over 38 existing corporate-owned units in the state of Arizona.
Louis Garcia is another example, recently signing on to operate 41 Rent-A-Center stores across Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. “Franchisees generally run their businesses more intimately than a corporation can,” Garcia said. “While a corporation does a great job with setup, training and disseminating information, someone immersed in daily operations with their hands on the pulse of the business can make quicker decisions. A corporation is like a battleship, whereas a franchisee is like a speedboat, capable of instantly changing direction to impact business. This deal gives us a ton of opportunity to make a significant difference in the market.”
By entrusting proven franchisees to uphold brand standards and deliver results on a personal level within their markets, Rent-A-Center’s opportunity is just as rewarding as it is lucrative.