Careers at Aaron’s Inc.
Aaron’s Inc (“Aaron’s”) aims to provide an affordable and accessible means by which consumers can purchase or rent high quality furniture, electronics, and other consumer goods products.
Aaron’s traces its roots back to the foundation of Aaron Rents Inc in 1955 by R. Charles Loudermilk (“Loudermilk”)and his business partner.
The pair launched the business by borrowing USD 500 to purchase folding chairs and renting them for 10 cents per day to auction houses.
The Company’s first order was for 300 chairs from an Atlanta-based auction house. Loudermilk’s partner later left the business, but Loudermilk continued to buy and rent furniture, financed through hours of work at his family’s restaurant.
Loudermilk was eventually able to rent a small storefront in Buckhead. He opened a second store in the early 1960s, and a third in 1964.
By this time the Company’s inventory had expanded to include products such as large outdoor tents. Loudermilk notably rented four tents to civil rights marchers who trekked from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.
In the remainder of the twentieth century Aaron’s shifted its focus to the residential and office markets, and further expanded its product offerings.
Aaron’s Company has established itself as a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions – including furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories – through a network of more than 1,600 Company-operated and franchised stores across 47 US states and Canada, as well as via its e-commerce platform at Aarons.com.
The Company has been publicly traded since 1982 and has a current market capitalisation of approximately USD 4.15 billion.
Business model of Aaron’s Inc.
Aaron’s provides products and services to members of the general consumer population.
The Company’s core customers typically fall into one of the following customer segments:
- Lower Income Consumers, notably comprising consumers who do not have access to or qualify for traditional credit sources – such as bank financing, installment credit, or credit cards – or do not have the disposable income to outright buy high priced items such as furniture, electronics, and home appliances; and
- Small Businesses, comprising a range of small businesses and sole proprietorships that require equipment or furniture for their business, but either do not want or do not have the ability to purchase such items, instead preferring a more flexible leasing system.
Aaron’s is based in the US, which is its core market. The Company serves customers across 47 states, as well as parts of Canada, through its network of brick and mortar stores and through its own ecommerce platform.
Aaron’s provides value to its customers in the following ways:
- Brand Recognition and Reputation – Aaron’s is a market leader in the American rent-to-buy market, controlling a highly recognisable brand name with a positive reputation for providing quality products and services that dates back as far as the 1950s;
- Sales and Service Reach – Aaron’s operates an extensive network of more than 1,600 brick and mortar sales outlets across 47 US states and Canada, as well as its own ecommerce portal, which together ensure that its products and services can be access easily and conveniently by a large customers base;
- Flexibility and Affordability – Aaron’s offers products to its customers under a lease-to-buy model, which allows customers, including those who cannot access traditional credit solutions, to spread the cost of expensive items across an extended payment term, making them easier to afford;
- Wide Range of Products – Aaron’s offers customers a wide range of products, including home furnishings, electronics, and home appliances, ensuring that it has products to suits the needs of a broad customer base; and
- Customer Service – Aaron offers customer high quality customer service, its in-store sales and service personnel dealing directly with customers to find solutions that suit their individual needs.
Aaron’s primarily serves its customers via its network of brick and mortar outlets. The Company currently operates a network of around 1,600 such stores across 47 US states and parts of Canada, which are staffed by dedicated sales personnel who deal directly with customers, offering advice, guidance, and dealing with complaints and enquiries in person.
The Company additionally operates an online store through which customers can browse and purchase products on a self-service basis.
Aaron’s supports its retail operations through its own distribution infrastructure, which includes a network of 16 fulfilment centres averaging approximately 124,000 square feet each.
Aaron’s primarily serves its customers directly in-store, as well as on a self-service basis through its online shop.
The Company’s stores are staffed by sales personnel who are tasked with handling customer requests, queries, complaints, and product returns personally.
Aaron’s uses its website to provide customers with a range of information, including information on its store locations, its products, its returns policy, and shipping options.
The Company’s website includes an online client portal, through which customers can access information on their purchases and lease agreements, and manage their personal account details. .
Aaron’s additionally has a social media presence, operating a number of accounts through which it is able to communicate deals and updates to its customers directly and handle customer feedback.
The Company also publishes a blog on its website, through which it provides information on company developments.
Aaron's is an omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. The Company is engaged in the sale and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances, and accessories through its Company-operated and franchised stores in the US and Canada.
The Company currently operates around 1,600 brick and mortar stores in these markets, as well as an online sales portal at Aarons.com.
Aaron’s organises its operations into three core business segments: Progressive Leasing, which operates a virtual lease-to-own business; Aaron’s Business, which comprises the Company’s core retail business; and DAMI (Dent—A-Med Inc), through which the Company provides credit solutions for purchase of goods.
Aaron’s stores carry brands, such as Samsung, Frigidaire, Hewlett-Packard, LG, Whirlpool, Simmons, Philips, Ashley and Magnavox.
The Company traces its roots back to 1955 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Aaron’s works with a wide range of partner companies and organisations that support its core retail operations.
These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of merchandise, products, and equipment that are used or sold across the Company’s stores, as well as third party providers of services that support the Company’s corporate operations more broadly;
- Merchant and Retail Partners, comprising a range of retailers of furniture, household items, and jewellery with which the Company partners in providing options to for consumers to purchase product s from other retailers under lease-to-buy solutions;;
- Banking and Credit Partners, comprising a range of banking and financial institutions with which the Company partners in providing credit and financing solutions to customers across its network of stores and online sales channel;
- Franchise Partners, comprising various commercial enterprises that operate Aaron’s outlets on the Company’s behalf under franchising agreements;
- Community Partners, comprising various non-profits and charitable organisations with which the Company collaborates on social and community projects across markets in the US and Canada; and
- Strategic Partners, comprising a range of commercial enterprises and organisations with which the Company collaborates on strategic business development, growth, and marketing projects.
Aaron’s has a number of key retail and banking partnerships in place. The Company has notably secured partnerships with entities such as Wayfair, Michael Waltrip, Warrick Dunn and Partners, and Conn’s Inc.
Aaron’s business model is dependent on its ability to provide affordable and reliable lease-to-buy solutions to customers in the US and Canada.
As such, the Company’s key resources are its brand name and intellectual properties, its network of physical retail locations, its online store and IT infrastructure, its distribution and storage infrastructure, its partnerships – particularly its tie-ups with financing and retail partners, its suppliers and supply chain, and its personnel.
As noted above, the Company notably operates a network of around 1,600 stores across the US and Canada that are key to its core activities.
Aaron’s incurs costs in relation to its procurement of merchandise and supplies, its procurement of third party services, its operation of physical retail outlets – including occupancy and utility costs, the development and maintenance of its online store and IT infrastructure, the implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, the payment of costs associated with financing, the management of its partnerships, and the payment of salaries and benefits to its workforce.
In 2018, Aaron’s recorded total annual retail cost of sales in the amount of USD 19.82 million, non-retail cost of sales in the amount of USD 174.18 million, operating expenses in the amount of USD 1.62 billion, and depreciation and lease of merchandise in the amount of USD 1.73 billion.
Aaron’s generates revenue through the lease and sale of a range of products – including furniture, electronics, and appliances – across its network of stores and online sales channels.
The Company derives its revenue in the form of sales and lease fees collected in installments from customers under credit agreements, as well as via non-retail sales and the collection of fees and royalties from franchise partners.
In 2018, Aaron’s generated annual revenue of USD 3.83 billion, up on the USD 3.38 billion recorded by the Company in 2017.
The bulk of the Company’s revenue was attributed to its lease revenue and fees, which totaled USD 3.51 billion for the year. The Company recorded USD 207.26 million in no-retail sales, and 44.82 million in franchise fees and royalties.
info: John W. Robinson (“Robinson”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Aaron’s since November 2014. He is responsible for developing and implementing the Company’s overall growth and business development strategies. Robinson joined Aaron’s subsidiary Progressive Leasing in 2012 as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, and is credited with expanding its sales network across the US. Robinson began his career working on a number of roles within the investment banking groups at Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Wheat First Butcher Singer. In 2004, he joined TMX Finance LLC (which trades as TitleMax), where he served consecutively as Chief Operating Officer and President. He is credited with having helped to expand TitleMax’s store network from 100 to 750 during his tenure.
info: Steven A. Michaels (“Michaels”) has served as Chief Financial Officer and President of Strategic Operations at Aaron’s since February 2016. In this role, he is responsible for leading the Company’s various corporate finance functions, as well as oversight for several key business functions including analytics, business development and manufacturing. Michaels is a long-serving employee of Aaron’s, having first joined the Company in 1995. He began his career with the Company in a number of roles within its audit, franchise, and finance units. He has notably served in a number of senior financial roles at Aaron’s, both at the parent company level and within the sales and lease ownership and franchise businesses, including spells as Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development, and Vice President of Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership Division.
info: Douglas A. Lindsay (“Lindsay”) has served as President of Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership since joining the company in February 2016. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing the development of corporate growth strategies at Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, a subsidiary of Aaron’s. Lindsay began his career in various financial roles at Marshall, Jones and Company, The Simpson Organisation, and CarrAmerica Realty Corp between 1992 and 1997. In 1997, he joined HQ Global Workplaces as Vice President of Financial Planning and Awareness, following which he was appointed in 2004 as Vice President of Finance for the Americas at Regus PLC. Prior to joining Aaron’s, Lindsay served in several roles at ACE Cash Express between 2005 and 2016, including spells as Vice President of Finance, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
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