Aaron Rents Inc., a nationally active lessor and retailer of residential furniture, appliances, electronics and computers, is rolling out a ``sales and lease ownership'' custom wheels and tires franchise concept called Rimco.
``The market is booming across all demographics, and our goal is to build the first national custom wheel and rim chain,'' said Kevin Leary, director of franchise development and operations for Rimco Sales & Lease Ownership.
``We'll do that by franchising our Rimco concept to meet consumer demand and by operating the stores on the proven Aaron Sales & Lease ownership business model,'' he added.
Aaron Rents has researched the concept for more than two years and has operated some company-owned stores since last summer.
Publicly held Aaron Rents has nine company-owned Rimco locations open-six in Texas and three in Georgia-along with franchised stores in Columbus, Ga., and Farmington, N.M. The company anticipates having more than 25 locations open by year-end, Mr. Leary said.
Aaron Rents got a jump-start on the Rimco concept last year by buying 21 Rent-2-Own L.L.C. locations in Texas and converting six to Rimco stores. The others were either converted to Aaron Rents stores or closed and consolidated into existing Aaron Rents locations.
Aaron Rents envisions the typical Rimco store at 4,000 to 6,000 square feet, with start-up costs of $156,000 to $385,000. Potential franchisees are advised to have a net worth of at least $450,000, of which $300,000 should be liquid capital. The company charges a one-time $20,000 franchise fee and also gets a continuing license fee of 6 percent on total revenues.
Mr. Leary said recent national advertising of the concept elicited a great deal of interest, both from existing Aaron Rents franchisees and those in the automotive industry. Aaron Rents will provide training regardless of the potential franchisee's background, Mr. Leary said.
A recent flyer for the Rimco stores in Texas and Georgia advertised the availability of BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Falken, Firestone, Goodyear, Kumho, Michelin, Nankang, Nitto, Uniroyal and Winston tires, and American Racing, American Eagle, Center Line, Cragar, Enkei, Epic, Lexani, Mangels, MSR, Pacer and Ultra wheels.
The flyer offers customers ``easy low semi- or monthly payments'' and 90 days same as cash terms. Customers can choose to set up payments over 12, 18 or 24 months.
Rimco stores offer at the time of purchase free mounting and installation, lifetime balancing, locks and lugs, valve stems and tire disposal, along with free lifetime tire rotation and repair.
The flyer also promises, ``No credit? No problem.''
Aaron Rents operates more than 1,220 stores in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. It has been in business since 1955 and started franchising in 1992. Parties interested in Rimco can check out the program at www.rimcofranchise.com.