APRO President Louis Garcia recently signed a franchise deal to acquire 41 Rent-A-Center [RAC] stores across Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. The agreement is the latest in a string of deals from those investing, or re-investing, in the brand as part of its re-franchising initiative to partner operators with franchise investors.
Garcia shares that it was his experience in rent-to-own that influenced his decision to acquire more. “My interactions with dealers and franchisees over the years were highly influential in my decision,” says Garcia. “Independent dealers and franchisees operate differently than a large corporation—there is more focus on a store level and even more than that, on a community level. There is a lot of buzz out there about online rent to own that might affect brick and mortar but in my opinion, the reality is brick and mortar is stronger than ever especially when you view it as a community. When you run a store at a community level, you can be wildly successful, and that’s what we do.”
He considers the multi-unit deal an opportunity to harness his rent-to-own expertise and apply what made his existing stores successful on a broader scale, a task he said he’s excited to take on. “Over the last 14 years, we have built a culture with a sense of community with people first and have seen it be wildly successful. I see that opportunity in this market,” says Garcia. “A unique thing about this acquisition is that I already have stores in these markets that are executing at a high level. They have successful processes and procedure models you can see in action which is really powerful when you’re converting stores and working to pull them into your own culture.”
“Louis is a seasoned rent-to-own operator and a longtime leader in our industry, and this boom in his business is exciting news,” notes APRO Executive Director Jill McClure. “Louis’ success at the store level is definitely deserving of expansion – congratulations to him and to the 41 storefronts newly under his leadership.”
Garcia is currently focused on his latest acquisition but might still have an itch for more, “You never know, we are open to new possibilities,” he concludes. “Right now the plan is to get everyone on the same page and trained on all of the processes and procedures we have developed over the years.”