Pawn shops in the United States now number about 11,000+ and growing, and constituted a $14.5 billion industry last year. The business is fragmented and not dominated by large national chains. The industry appears to be almost recession-proof, as the ranks of the “unbanked” consumer continue to grow. Pawn shops provide a service that traditional banks cannot—short term loans for small amounts of money. These “alternative financial services” operations are more complex than meets the eye, and must conform to strict regulations.
The industry has benefitted from soaring gold prices, coupled with positive publicity via the popular reality TV show called Pawn Stars. The study explores why growth at pawn shops has been steady, even through the “great recession”. The industry’s image has changed and pawn shops are considered more mainstream as even affluent consumers now use them to raise quick cash. Even Beverly Hills and Palm Beach have pawn shops, that discreetly serve the rich.
This new study by Marketdata examines the nature of the business, reasons for the recent growth of pawn shops, national receipts/growth from 1999-2011, 2012 to 2016 forecasts, average store revenues, customer demographics, key industry trends, federal/state industry regulation/fee caps, gold prices and gold buying/scrap sales, consumer debt levels and more. Includes chapter on extensive pawn shop operating ratios from the Census Bureau surveys. Findings of research studies by: Federal Reserve, FDIC, Georgetown University, brokerage analysts, National Pawnbroker’s Assn., U.S. Census Bureau and more.
This study is believed to be one of the few in-depth publicly available business analyses that exists of this market. 3 in-depth company profiles are provided for: Cash America, EZCorp., and First Cash Financial.
Introduction: Study Scope, Sources, Methodology 1-5
Executive Overview of Major Findings ($250) 6-19
• Description of how pawn loans work, nature of the business, number of pawn shops/growth, reasons for growth
• Major market trends and issues: positive image via reality TV shows, government scrutiny of payday lending, lack of small loans by banks, strong rise in gold prices, etc.
• Discussion of reasons for growth of non-bank services, population living below the poverty level.
• Pawn shop customer demographics/profile
• Factors affecting demand: state of consumer household finances, recession, rising gold prices
• Market $ size and growth: 1999-2016 forecast, performance during 2008-2009 recession, 2010 -2011 recovery, outlook for 2012-2016
• Industry operating ratios: Census data- 2002 and 2007: receipts, no. of pawn shops, average receipts per shop, payroll costs, no. of employees
• Top three pawn shop chains: Cash America, EZ Corp, First Cash Financial: 2010-2011 revenues .
Nature of the Business ($100 ) 20-29
• Earliest form of consumer lending, brief history
• Highly fragmented industry that is concentrated in the southeast and southwestern portions of the U.S.
• The pawn loan process – discussion.
• Related services (layaway, title loans, tax refund loans, gold buying, check cashing – description of each)
• Number of pawn shops in the U.S.: 1989-2011
• Emerging industry trends: discussion of decline in number of pawn shops, rebound, pending anti-payday lending legislation (state actions)
• Analysis of gold prices: 1999-2012, gold buying by pawn shops, scrap sales, competition with gold buyers.
For more information kindly visit :
U.S. Pawnshops: An Industry Analysis
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