Though pawn shops have been a popular destination for tourists due to the many television shows portraying the business, an increasing number of Americans are utilizing the services to fund financial ventures. As a fairly easy way to procure short-term loans, these stores can be invaluable to citizens who are willing to sell personal items in exchange for fast cash.
Lately, the pawn industry has been booming. Different companies across the country have reported a large spike in revenue figures for the last quarter of 2011 and the first part of 2012. Unprecedented growth
According to the Orlando Business Journal, the Florida and Puerto Rico-based La Familia Pawn & Jewelry company owners saw triple the amount of business they had been accustomed to during the business' three year existence. In 2011, La Familia recorded sales of $26 million, though in 2010 they made $9 million. This growth enabled executives to open four new stores in the company's operating area and hire nearly 70 new employees, the source reported. Because of increasing revenue and partner investment, the chain plans to add between five and ten new locations before year's end. Older pawn shop chain EZCorp, which first opened its doors in 1989, is also seeing a remarkable increase in revenue during the second quarter so far. According to the Austin Business Journal, the company recently reported a profit of $37.3 million on an overall gain of $256.3 million. Last year, the source reported, the company was experiencing a $31.8 million profit during the same time period. Companies going international
Because of great success in the United States, many pawn businesses have opened storefronts in other nations. Though First Cash is a Texas-based pawn company, they have infiltrated the Mexican business sector. According to Businessweek, though the company's first quarter net gains had fallen by over $5 million from 2011 figures, First Cash saw a sales increase of 12 percent, climbing to $135.1 million. The overall loss could be attributed to the fact that the firm bought out a Mexican pawn chain just after the new year. First Cash has opened 54 new stores in 2012, and 49 of them are located in Mexico. "We believe that Mexico is a large market with tremendous opportunities for continued growth," said First Cash CEO Rick Wessel in a statement, Businessweek reported.