Not many business owners can say they’ve been involved in the start of an entire industry from the ground up. Fewer still can take credit for being a forerunner in two.
Jim Moore, of JDM Management, Inc. and a franchisee of RimTyme Custom Wheels and Tires, is one of those people. He started in the rent-to-own business in 1991 in the training department for ColorTyme Rent-to-Own, working for Willie Talley, founder of ColorTyme, who, along with his brother Ernie, are widely regarded as the forefathers of the rent-toown industry.
In his time working for ColorTyme in the training and operations departments, Moore not only gained the knowledge that would serve as the foundation for his success in the industry, but he also started his path to becoming a pioneer in the industry himself. When he began, he told Willie Talley that he would serve in his role for two years, and if after that time he couldn’t raise the capital to open his own franchise, he would move on to something else.
In August of 1993 he made good on his promise, purchasing his first ColorTyme location in Raleigh, N.C. By December of that year, he had increased the monthly revenue four times what it was when he began, and by the following year he surpassed the $1 million annual revenue mark in that first store. Moore attributes much of this early success to the best practices he picked up from the ColorTyme franchisees with whom he interacted as their franchise consultant, learning as he worked side-by-side with them to open and operate their stores.
The growth of his business continued over the next few years. In all, Moore opened 10 additional ColorTyme locations, which were consistently at the top of the rankings among locations in annual revenue. Then, in the early 2000s, he saw an increasing demand for rental wheels and tires among his customer base. After nearly a decade learning and working with industry pioneers, it was now his turn to be at the forefront of a new movement in rent-to-own.
In 2002, with the help of his franchisor, he began offering rental wheels and tires as an additional product to customers in three of his ColorTyme stores, alongside his inventory of appliances, electronics and furniture. A two-year struggle to find footing for this branch of his business led him, in 2004, to make the decision to separate his business and found RimTyme Custom Wheels and Tyres.
“There were a tremendous amount of requests from our customers for wheels and tires” said Moore. “We hired industry professionals to sell our tires ad we invested in equipment for immediate installation….Our competitors cannot offer immediate or same day installation service. We have the competitive edge.”
While it was a risk to depart from his widely successful ColorTyme locations and venture into an unknown and untested market, Moore was unfazed by the challenges ahead. As a decorated veteran of the United States Army who servedhis country in Vietnam as a Combat Helicopter Pilot, he was used to risk. During his time in the military, Moore logged over 3,400 flight hours in combat missions. He was shot down three times during the Vietnam War and earned a number of honors, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Today, 13 years and 27 stores later, RimTyme, a subsidiary of Rent-A-Center Franchising International, Inc., features thousands of custom wheels and tires with same-day installation across a growing number of states. Named the Number 1 Automotive Wheels and Tires Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2013, RimTyme is one of the fastest-growing franchises available in the marketplace.
“With thirty-five years of experience and $3 billion in annual revenue, Rent- A-Center, Inc. allows for operational support and finances to build massive inventories to meet both the product and time demands of their customers,” says Michael Landry, Vice President of Franchise Development for Rent-A-Center Franchising International, Inc.
A 4,000-unit inventory offers a variety of wheel brands, including rim sizes and materials ranging from chrome to black rims and alloy to aluminum wheels. With a high percentage of revenue coming from cash sales, inventory replenishment is necessary to keep up. Luckily for Moore, RimTyme’s parent company, Rent-A-Center, offers guaranteed financing to cover inventory purchases.
“Rent-A-Center’s guaranteed financing helped us build our product selection”, says Moore. “We would not have been successful without Rent-A-Center’s financing guarantee.” The average investment for a franchise is $500,000 with a mature store generating on average $1.7 million in annual revenue. Landry adds, “We’re so confident in the business model and skills of our franchisees we’re willing to co-guarantee the business loans ourselves.”
This support, in addition to his expertise and innovative business model, has helped make Moore RimTyme’s largest franchisee, with eight locations throughout the southeast United States. His stores are among the highest-performing out of Rent-A-Center’s portfolio of over 4,500 locations.
With over $3 billion in annual revenue, Rent-A-Center is the largest rent-to-own company in the world. Both the Rent-ACenter brand and the RimTyme brand are designed to appeal to a wide variety of customers by allowing them to obtain merchandise that they might otherwise be unable to obtain due to insufficient cash resources or a lack of access to credit.
Growth is at the forefront for this industry, particularly for RimTyme. Existing franchisees currently have secured development rights for 10 new stores in the next 18 months, and open opportunities exist throughout the southern United States.