Pawn America Parent Launches New Retail Concept
Rixmann Companies, the parent company of Pawn America, has launched a new retail concept called PA Exchange—and its first store opened Thursday.
The 15,000-square-foot retail space, located at 1885 Suburban Avenue in St. Paul, shares a former Suburban Chrysler auto dealership site with a Pawn America store.
Although PA Exchange and Pawn America share the building, their offerings differ. PA Exchange is a retail-only store that specializes in slightly used, refurbished, and new retail items, including clothing, jewelry, electronics, tools, and outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers and snow blowers. Pawn America, meanwhile, sells various items but also buys items from customers and offers loans and other financial services. The two stores together employ 40 people.
Rixmann Companies’ Chief Legislative Officer Chuck Armstrong told Twin Cities Business that after noticing a surge in retail purchases at Pawn America stores, Rixmann Companies began exploring the possibility of creating a separate retail-based concept. That’s how PA Exchange came about. Merchandise accounts for 50 percent of floor space within the new St. Paul location, while the rest of the building is attributed to financial services and storage.
Armstrong said that PA Exchange is an experiment and that if certain aspects of the store—such as displays or the introduction of new product lines—are successful, Rixmann Companies will implement those aspects in its existing store locations.
A second PA Exchange location is scheduled to open in Hopkins—at 172 Blake Road alongside an existing Pawn America store—in June. Armstrong said additional PA Exchange stores are in the preliminary discussion phase.
Founded in 1991, Rixmann Companies—which owns PayDay America and CashPass Network in addition to Pawn America and PA Exchange—reported $78.6 million in 2012 revenue and employs 534 individuals currently, although the company expects the number to jump to 600 after additional store openings in the next few months. Pawn America, its best-known brand, has more than 450 employees and 26 locations in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin.
Late last year, Pawn America was honored as one of Twin Cities Business’ Small Business Success Stories. To read more about it, click here.