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Pawn shop revenue on the rise

May 24, 2012 Philip Burgess

Pawn shop revenue on the rise
Pawn shops used to be seen as seedy places to sell an item or put it up as collateral for a loan. Now, Hollywood has transformed the sector's reputation, and it is thought of as a legitimate way to take advantage of short term lending possibilities. Because it has become more more socially acceptable and popular, individuals who need fast cash are flocking to the stores.
 In 2011 the pawn industry accumulated $14.5 billion in revenue, according to a study by Marketdata. In 2012, sales figures are predicted to grow by 7.2 percent, and experts believe the industry is on pace to see nearly $19.9 billion in revenue annually by 2016. Though it put up notable gains in revenue in 2011, the pawn industry has been successful for a number of years. "The industry appears to be almost recession-proof, as the ranks of the "unbanked" consumer continue to grow," Marketdata Enterprises research director John LaRosa noted. Successful business can also be attributed to harder qualification standards for traditional loans, the study found. Pawngo.com CEO Todd Hills explained to Forbes that the current economic climate has made pawn shops more attractive to consumers. Because credit is hard to come by and these types of lenders do not look at credit history, Hills said, a large number of people who do business in these locales are homeowners and degree holders.