The store manager, who wishes to remain anonymous, adds,
"Very little information has been shared since the initial
conference call in December". The biggest question being asked,
and not answered, is 'when'.
"When will the acquisition be finalized? When will I know if
my store will remain open?"
What was your first thought when you heard the announcement?
My first thought was for my customers. How many customers will I
lose when this news gets out? The only competitor in our
market is a Rent a Center and it's right down the street. My
next concern was my job. It's nobody's fault, but the timing of
the announcement (days before Christmas) could not have been
How much do your customers know?
At this point, Rent a Center has gotten the word out to all
their customers. This is a small market and news travels fast.
My customers ask questions and I don't have any information for
With Rent a Center your only competitor, what are the odds of
your store remaining open?
I give it a 50-50 chance. There is a town not far from here with
2 Rent a Centers literally across the street from each other.
How have your employees reacted?
They're a little nervous. I told them to continue to operate as
we have in the past. Continue to do your job and you'll have
nothing to worry about.
If you could ask Mr. Morgenstern and Mr. Speese a question, what
would it be?
If my store is closed, will I have the opportunity to move to
another Rent a Center location? If I stay with Rent a Center,
will my seniority with Rent Way carry over? If the acquisition
is not finalized by mid February, will the Store Managers
affected still be invited to the Rent Way conference in Orlando?
Most importantly, when will all this be finalized so we can get
on with it? Even a guess would be better than silence.
This reporter has spoken to several Rent Way managers
affected by the acquisition and found them, considering the
uncertainty of the situation, surprisingly upbeat. This is
a world apart from reactions in the days following the
announcement. Many have been through acquisitions before. After
the initial shock, most have settled into a 'wait and see'/'hope
for the best' posture.