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Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII - Analyst Report) announced the opening of a new store each in Wake Forest, N.C. and West Haverstraw, N.Y. on Nov 15, 2013. The company conducts operations through 119 locations in North Carolina and 179 locations in New York.

Last month, Rent-A-Center opened a new outlet in Circleville, Ohio, where it operates through 167 locations.

These moves reflect the company’s extensive network and with its sheer geographic reach, it is able to effectively penetrate into its target markets, helping it generate healthy sales and gain competitive advantage over its rivals, Aaron’s Inc. (AAN - Snapshot Report) and Advance America.

During the recently concluded quarter, the largest rent-to-own operator in the U.S., opened 6 new Core U.S. locations, acquired 6 stores and consolidated 10 stores with existing locations, bringing the total store count to 2,974. The company also opened 112 RAC Acceptance stores, consolidated 10 stores with existing locations and closed 1, resulting in 1,254 stores.

Twenty two international locations were opened and 2 stores consolidated with existing locations during the quarter, bringing the count to 168 stores. Rent-A-Center Franchising International, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rent-A-Center, added 4 new locations and closed 12 locations, with the total store count remaining at 213.

For 2013, management plans to open approximately 60 rent-to-own locations in Mexico. Moreover, the company aims at about 365 domestic RAC Acceptance kiosk additions.

This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company offers consumer electronics, appliances and furniture products under rental purchase schemes that allow customers to own the merchandise upon completion of the rental period.

Though Rent-A-Center is currently unfavorably positioned owing to its dismal third-quarter 2013 results and trimmed guidance, other stocks worth considering in the related industry include Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (HRZN - Snapshot Report) and BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (BKCC - Snapshot Report), both holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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