Rent-A-Center or RAC for short was founded in 1973 by Thomas Devlin and W. Frank Barton. Mr. Devlin came up with the rent to own idea after working for an appliance rental company in Wichita, KS.
Current CEO, Mark Speese, joined the company in 1979. The company went public in 1995 and has gained many of its current locations through acquisitions of other companies including DEF Investments, Thorn Americas, Rent-Way, Rainbow Rentals and Rent-Rite.
Rent-A-Center currently operates over 3000 locations in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Although originally founded in Wichita, the corporate office is now located in Plano, Texas.