TYLER, TexasThe RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheel franchise program is getting a boost in Kansas and Texas from groups of rent-to-own industry veterans that have opened stores and are evaluating additional markets in the Jayhawk and Lone Star states for more stores.
In Tyler, Cary and Tammy McPherson, one-time owners of eight Home Zone Sales & Lease Purchase L.L.C. franchises in Arkansas and Mississippi, and David Belt have formed RNR Tires Express of Texas L.L.C.
The partners have opened one store, in Bryan, Texas, and foresee opening six more in Texas in the coming three to four years. Bryan is a city of 75,000-plus about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
Mr. McPherson, president and operating partner of RNR Tires Express of Texas, said the partners would like to expand beyond the initial seven locations if there is any available territory remaining in Texas.
He lauded RNR Tire Express for its world-class support (that) provides us the feeling that we are empowered to succeed as a RNR franchisee.
RNR founder and President Larry Sutton said he has known Messrs. Belt and McPherson for a long time.
I am starting to sound like a broken record when I say that we are so fortunate to have great rent-to-own professionals and businessmen in our system, Mr. Sutton said. The Tyler group are going to knock it out of the park....
The McPhersons' son and daughter Daniel and Lindsay McPherson are managing the Bryan RNR store. Like many of the RNR franchisees, RNR said, the McPherson children grew up in the rent-to-own/lease-purchase business and are experienced operators.
We are really happy to have our children leading the way on our first RNR location, Ms. McPherson said. Daniel managed our top stores in our traditional Home Zone stores and Lindsay was our main buyer for the eight locations that we owned.
The second group, JSA Tires, is led by AJ Arthus, owner of six Aaron's Lease to Own franchise stores in the Lubbock, Texas, area.
JSA is readying its first store in north Lubbock to open Nov. 1 and has acquired property in south Lubbock for a second site it hopes to have open by spring, Mr. Arthus said.
I had been waiting for the right time to diversify my business holdings and have been watching the growth and success of the RNR franchise system over the past few years, Mr. Arthus said.
I am impressed with every aspect of what RNR does and how they do it, which all starts with the leadership team but continues to be delivered at the store level.
Mr. Arthus' operating partners are Jason Summers and Steve Arthus.
Mr. Arthus hopes eventually to open additional RNR locations through west-central Texas, but for now is focusing on the first ones in Lubbock, a city of about 240,000 inhabitants, according to the company.
At the moment, I am going to focus on this first location, and do what we need to do to ensure that the Lubbock community has a great experience with our brand, Mr. Arthus said.
We are confident that the community will embrace the options that RNR provides and we'd love to open more RNR locations.
Mr. Arthus' stores would be the first RNR locations in Lubbock, although there are six RNR stores in Texasfive in the Houston area and one in Austin, according to RNR's dealer locator.
Mr. Sutton said the company is excited to be working with another veteran in the rent-to-own industry, and we are confident that AJ will be another success story and develop the Lubbock market.
In Kansas, rent-to-own industry veterans Geron Vail and Tim Daniel have formed Daniel Vail Investments L.L.C. to oversee the roll-out of RNR Tire stores in Kansas, according to RNR Tires Franchising.
Mr. Vail already operates 18 RNR Tire Express stores in four states under his Rental Concepts Group. Mr. Daniel is new to the automotive aftermarket but is experienced in the rent-to-own business.
The partners have opened stores in Hutchinson and Wichita, Kan., and reportedly have plans for a dozen or more stores throughout the Jayhawk state.
Having been a long-time operator in the rent-to-own industry, Mr. Daniel said he knew RNR would be a great fit. Bringing the options that we provide our customers for the tires they need and the wheels they want is new to this area.
Based on our tremendous success in Wichita, we are expecting even greater things in Hutchinson. This community is growing rapidly and with the many options we provide we want to be part of that growth.
Mr. Sutton lauded Mr. Vail's success with RNR Tire and called Mr. Daniel one of the best operators in the country.
Tampa, Fla.-based RNR started franchising in 2003 and today has 12 franchisees with 68 franchise locations and 15 corporate-owned locations and stores in 21 states.
The number of franchised RNR Tire Express locations could more than double to 250 by 2018, according to new agreements signed with existing and new franchisees, Mr. Sutton said earlier this year.
Three existing franchise ownersShannon Strunk in the Southeast, David David in Indiana and the Rose family in Virginiahave agreed to add 75 stores in the next 10 years to their existing multi-unit franchise agreements, according to Mr. Sutton.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6145