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January 10, 2017

Q&A with Larry Sutton, Founder and CEO of RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels

In this franchise chatter Q&A, we get to learn about RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels from its founder and CEO Larry Sutton.

Franchise Chatter(FC) : Tell us a little bit about what RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels is and what you offer.

Larry Sutton (LS): RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels (RNR) is the fastest-growing tire and custom wheel franchise in the nation. RNR is unique in that we offer a convenient, no hassle payment plan that fits each client’s budget. We’ve established a business model that allows our clients to pay off name brand tires and/or wheels on a weekly or monthly plan that is affordable to them.

In addition to boasting the largest selection of brand name tires and wheels, RNR offers top customer service and professional installation.

FC: How did you come up with the idea for RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels?

LS: My two siblings and I were raised by my single mother in Tampa, Florida. With money stretched tight, we learned from an early age that if we wanted something, we would need to earn the money to pay for it.

I took this lesson seriously and at 15, I got a job at my uncle’s rent-to-own TV and appliance store. It was there that I was first exposed to the rent-to-own industry and fell in love with the concept. I became one of the store’s top salesmen and was even able to sell appliances to all of my high school teachers.

From that experience, I quickly rose through the ranks and eventually became a partner at another rent-to-own TV and appliance chain, growing the brand to 30 stores. Having sold that business in late 1997 and retiring for a year, I began searching for a new business concept to create.

I decided after a lot of research that the tire and wheel business did not have a lot of options for people to pay for the product and would be a perfect product to add convenient payment options to. In 2000, RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels was born and founded upon the principle that people should be able to afford the tires they need and the wheels they want.

This concept resonated extremely well with tire and wheel buyers and RNR quickly became the go-to retailer for affordable quality tires and custom wheels.

FC: The growth of RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels has taken off in recent years. Tell us about the brand’s growth and why it has seen such success.

LS: Yes, RNR has experienced tremendous growth over recent years. We currently boast 100 locations in 22 states and over the last 20 months, RNR has opened a new store every month.

I would attribute RNR’s rapid growth to our proven and unique business model, along with the organic growth within our franchise system. Just 16 franchisees currently operate 86 locations and a handful of franchisees just re-signed to open dozens of additional stores. They have recognized the tremendous value in the brand and are reinvesting at a high rate.

In addition to our existing franchisees helping to develop the brand, we are also currently seeking qualified single and multi-unit franchisees to further drive RNR expansion throughout the nation.

FC: What qualities do you look for in a potential RNR franchise owner and what territories do you currently have available?

LS: An ideal RNR franchisee would be someone who has enough financial capital to support the build-out of the business including marketing and inventory capital, and has an entrepreneurial drive to learn the lease-purchase tire and wheel industry.

Although some of our franchisees or their family members who operate the stores have an interest or background in automotive, it is not necessary to become an RNR franchisee.

We currently have many prime markets available throughout the country, but are especially seeking development in New York, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and West Virginia.

FC: What makes RNR an attractive business opportunity for potential franchisees?

LS: In addition to our unique lease-purchase business model that caters to an underserved market, RNR also prides itself on having a corporate culture that encourages a high degree of entrepreneurial freedom for franchisees. RNR also has a proven track record of same-store revenue growth for three consecutive years and provides a comprehensive initial training program consisting of four weeks of online, classroom, and on-site training to ensure the full success of a new RNR franchisee.

FC: What is the typical investment for an RNR location?

LS: The initial franchise fee is $35,000 and to get cash flow positive, an RNR franchisee typically spends around $400,000 to $600,000 depending on size and location.

FC: Where can people learn more about RNR and its franchising opportunities?

LS: People can learn more about RNR and the many benefits of becoming an RNR franchisee at www.myrnrfranchise.com.

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