ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, announced today that its largest franchisee, SEI/Aaron's, has opened its 100 th store. The store is located in Concord, New Hampshire.
SEI/Aaron's was established in 1995 by Charles Smithgall and since that time has experienced tremendous success opening Aaron's locations in the Northeast and Midwest. More than 900 associates have found employment as a result of SEI/Aaron's growth, and more than $300,000 has been donated by SEI/Aaron's to local organizations on behalf of Aaron's Community Outreach Program (ACORP).
"We owe this milestone achievement to a combination of nearly two decades of hard work, a staff of dedicated associates, a loyal customer base and Aaron's infallible business model," said Smithgall, who is also SEI/Aaron's Chairman and CEO. "When we move into a new market, we not only provide a much-needed service, but we also become integrated into the community in every way possible. We partner with local businesses and support area charities and schools. We look forward to applying this winning formula in Concord and hopefully 100 more stores across the nation in the years to follow."SEI/Aaron's will celebrate its 100 th location with a grand opening event today in Concord. After an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, SEI/Aaron's will announce the donation of five HP laptops for fifth graders at Broken Ground Elementary School. SEI/Aaron's also contributed a 50" JVC TV, a Fuji Camera and an LG Blu-ray player to the annual Concord Boys and Girls Club auction on December 8. The SEI/Aaron's 100 th store is located at 163 Loudon Road in Concord. SEI/Aaron's was founded in April 1995 by Charles Smithgall when it was awarded an Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership franchise by Aaron's, Inc. SEI/Aaron's opened its first Aaron's store in November 1995 and subsequently developed eight stores in the Kentucky/ Indiana area before expanding into New England in 1999. SEI/Aaron's has continued to open stores in the New England states as well as acquiring stores from other Aaron's franchisees and Aaron's, Inc. SEI/Aaron's is the largest Aaron's franchisee and was voted the top franchise company in the Aaron's franchise system in 1997 and was runner-up for the honor in 1999. In both 2001 and 2002, SEI/Aaron's was selected by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America.