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.
The company offers brand name new and used household appliances, televisions, computers, and other electronics on a rent to own scale. Customers can return items for any reason, then pick up the items and resume payments again if they wish. Delivery, pick-up, repair, and service are all included in the rental price.
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.
Annual revenue in 2015 was $3.28 billion. RAC has 22,200 full-time employees.
In July of 2015, the company sold several of its Ontario, Canada, locations to EasyHome Financial for $3.4 million. The company has plans for expansion in Mexico, where there are currently 176 locations.
In February 2021, Rent-A-Center reported 4th quarter gains of 7.3 percent.
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.