Partnership Reinforces Strategy of Investing in Technology and Digital Capabilities to Expand the Preferred Lease Retail Partner Base
Rent-A-Center, Inc. (the "Company" or "Rent-A-Center") (NASDAQ/NGS: RCII) today announced a partnership with ChargeAfter that will allow retailers to add the "Preferred Lease" lease-to-own option to ChargeAfter’s leading consumer point of sale financing solution, providing greater flexibility for customers whether they want to buy or lease retail items.
ChargeAfter is a multi-lender technology platform used online or in-store for buy now pay later financing options and lease options at the point of sale. ChargeAfter’s market-leading platform provides their global network of eCommerce and retail merchants with multiple personalized financing and leasing options for consumers at checkout. Through this partnership, Preferred Lease will be integrated into the technology platform to provide additional options for consumers. ChargeAfter’s platform provides a faster go to market solution because the technology enables a single solution for retail partners to serve a broader consumer base. Investors in ChargeAfter include PICO Venture Partners, Propel Venture Partners, VISA, MUFG, BBVA, Synchrony, and Plug and Play VC.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with ChargeAfter and believe the innovative technology platform will enable an improved and more consistent customer experience for our Preferred Lease retail partners who recognize the value of providing customers with a compelling lease-to-own option in addition to financing options," said Paul Hamilton, VP of National Accounts at Rent-A-Center. "Our differentiated offering of staffed and virtual lease-to-own options increases the revenue opportunity for retail partners by serving both banked and unbanked customers. We believe this new partnership with ChargeAfter will introduce us to new retail partners, speed up the implementation time, and reduce integration cost as we grow our Preferred Lease business. The challenging retail environment due to the pandemic has accelerated conversations with our pipeline of new retail partners, and this partnership further enhances and modernizes our Preferred Lease offering by improving the customer experience and enhancing our digital capabilities," concluded Mr. Hamilton.
"ChargeAfter is excited to partner with Rent-A-Center, a leader in the lease-to-own industry, and to include its Preferred Lease offering into our consumer financing and leasing waterfall," said Meidad Sharon, CEO of ChargeAfter. "Consumers selecting to pay with ChargeAfter submit a simple, four-data-point credit application at the point of sale. ChargeAfter’s proprietary decisioning engine then processes the request across our network to find personalized, approved financing or leasing offers for the consumer which leads to high take rates, 85% approvals, and increased sales. Including Preferred Lease as a lease-to-own option in the network will enable us to further diversify our offers for the consumers and help merchants convert more shoppers into paying customers."
About Rent-A-Center, Inc.
Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII) is an industry leading omni-channel lease-to-own provider for the credit constrained customer. The Company’s mission is to improve the quality of life for its customers by providing access and the opportunity to obtain ownership of high-quality, durable products under a flexible lease-purchase agreement with no long-term debt obligation and the convenience of product delivery, returns and repairs. Preferred Lease provides virtual and staffed lease-to-own solutions to retail partners in stores and online enabling our partners to grow sales by expanding their customer base utilizing our differentiated lease offering. The Rent-A-Center Business provides lease-to-own options on essential products such as furniture, appliances, consumer electronics, and computers in approximately 2,100 Rent-A-Center stores in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico and on its e-commerce platform, Rentacenter.com. The franchising segment is a national franchisor of approximately 370 franchise locations in the United States. Rent-A-Center is headquartered in Plano, Texas. For additional information about the Company, please visit our website at Rentacenter.com or Investor.rentacenter.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "could," "estimate," "predict," "continue," "should," "anticipate," "believe," or "confident," or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology and including, among others, statements concerning the Company’s Preferred Lease growth expectations, anticipated future benefits of the transaction with ChargeAfter and future growth strategies. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are accurate. However, there can be no assurance that such expectations will occur. The Company's actual future performance could differ materially and adversely from such statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: the failure of the ChargeAfter transaction to provide anticipated benefits, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and related federal, state, and local government restrictions, including adverse changes in such restrictions further limiting our ability to operate or prolonging their duration, and the potential for a recession resulting from such matters; the general strength of the economy and other economic conditions affecting consumer preferences and spending; factors affecting the disposable income available to the Company's current and potential customers; changes in the unemployment rate; capital market conditions, including availability of funding sources for the Company; changes in the Company's credit ratings; difficulties encountered in improving the financial and operational performance of the Company's business segments; risks associated with pricing changes and strategies being deployed in the Company's businesses; the Company's ability to continue to realize benefits from its initiatives regarding cost-savings and other EBITDA enhancements, efficiencies and working capital improvements; the Company's ability to continue to effectively execute its strategic initiatives; failure to manage the Company's store labor and other store expenses; disruptions caused by the operation of the Company's store information management systems; risks related to the Company's virtual lease-to-own business; including the Company's ability to continue to develop and successfully implement the necessary technologies; the Company's ability to achieve the benefits expected from its recently announced integrated retail preferred offering, Preferred Lease, including its ability to integrate its historic retail partner business (Acceptance Now) and the Merchants Preferred business under the Preferred Lease offering; the Company's transition to more-readily scalable, "cloud-based" solutions; the Company's ability to develop and successfully implement digital or E-commerce capabilities, including mobile applications; disruptions in the Company's supply chain; limitations of, or disruptions in, the Company's distribution network; rapid inflation or deflation in the prices of the Company's products; the Company's ability to execute and the effectiveness of a store consolidation, including the Company's ability to retain the revenue from customer accounts merged into another store location as a result of a store consolidation; the Company's available cash flow and its ability to generate sufficient cash flow to continue paying dividends; the Company's ability to identify and successfully market products and services that appeal to its customer demographic; consumer preferences and perceptions of the Company's brands; the Company's ability to retain the revenue associated with acquired customer accounts and enhance the performance of acquired stores; the Company's ability to enter into new, and collect on, its rental or lease purchase agreements; changes in the enforcement of existing laws and regulations and the enactment of new laws and regulations adversely affecting the Company's businesses; the Company's compliance with applicable statutes or regulations governing its businesses; changes in interest rates; changes in tariff policies; adverse changes in the economic conditions of the industries, countries or markets that the Company serves; information technology and data security costs; the impact of any breaches in data security or other disturbances to the Company's information technology and other networks and the Company's ability to protect the integrity and security of individually identifiable data of its customers and employees; changes in estimates relating to self-insurance liabilities and income tax and litigation reserves; changes in the Company's effective tax rate; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; the Company's ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls; litigation or administrative proceedings to which the Company is or may be a party to from time to time; and the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
EVP, Chief Financial Officer