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The move was in line with the company’s strategic approach of leveraging an extensive network of stores to effectively penetrate into its target markets, which in turn facilitates it to generate healthy sales and gain competitive advantage over its rivals, Aaron’s Inc. ( AAN - Snapshot Report ) and Advance America.
The company, through its latest store, will offer furnishings, electrical devices, electronics and computers. With the inclusion of this new store, Rent-A-Center will conduct operations through 96 locations in Indiana.
The residents of the region will now have an additional option of purchasing goods with flexible payment options (freedom to pay weekly, biweekly or monthly). Moreover, the company offers a lifetime recall service, which facilitates its customers to re-rent the same or a comparable item and receive payments.
During the recently concluded quarter, the company opened 11 new Core U.S. locations, acquired 2 stores and closed 3 stores (2 stores consolidated with existing locations and 1 location closed). The company also opened 100 RAC Acceptance stores and closed 29 stores (consolidated with existing locations).
Sixteen international locations were opened and 1 store was shuttered (consolidated with existing locations) during the quarter, bringing the count to 114 stores. ColorTyme, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rent-A-Center, added 5 new locations and closed 4 stores.
For 2012, management plans to open approximately 35 domestic rent-to-own stores. Through the year, the company targets to open 40 rent-to-own locations in Mexico and 6 in Canada. Moreover, the company aims at 300 domestic RAC Acceptance kiosk additions.
Currently, we have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Moreover, the company has a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.
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