From console rent to own TV sets to high definition flat panels, ColorTyme has made significant progressions in its business over the last 30 years. This year marks ColorTyme’s 30th anniversary in business.
The company has come a long way since 1979, when ColorTyme Founder Willie Talley partnered with Curtis Mathes to offer customers a new, rent to own TV option and opened the first ColorTyme store in Athens, Texas. Talley and his new business partners bought the company from Curtis Mathes the following year and began a successful franchise program in 1982.
“All Willie cared about was the franchisees being successful,” said Mitch Fadel, former ColorTyme CEO from 1992 to 2000, who currently serves as the COO for ColorTyme’s parent company, Rent-A-Center.
Rhonda Davis, ColorTyme director of purchasing, who joined ColorTyme in the Athens, Texas store 28 years ago, said ColorTyme has always offered a personal, family environment for its customers and its employees.
“We weren’t just co-workers; we were friends,” said Davis. “We believed in Willie and the business, and he took good care of us. Now that Willie is gone, we do our best to take care of each other and our customers.”
ColorTyme was built on the belief in “people helping people,” and it credits its success to the continued practice of this principle with its customers, franchisees and the communities it serves.
“Rent to own is all about helping people – helping them rent a refrigerator, rent a computer or rent to own TVs – helping them improve their quality of life,” said Bob Bloom, president and CEO of ColorTyme. “Likewise, at ColorTyme, we help our franchisees, and our franchisees all help one another. It really is all about people helping people. Our franchisees and our leadership team are and will continue to be the core and strength of this company.”
In 2004, ColorTyme began the “Your Hometown ColorTyme” branding campaign across its franchise network to emphasize every store is locally owned or operated, providing a more personalized, neighborly, customer-service experience. As a part of this branding initiative, ColorTyme launched a new and improved website, designed to allow customers to view products and specials specific to their hometown ColorTyme store, to complete a short product interest form or rental agreement from the convenience of their home, and to opt-in to receive email specials. In addition, ColorTyme revamped its stores’ décor in 2007 to look more inviting and retail-esque, with warmer colors and flooring you might see in someone’s home.
Today, ColorTyme (colortyme.com) has more than 200 stores in 33 states and offers customers a variety of rent to own options -- furniture rental, appliances rental, electronics rental, and rent to own computers, as well as pay day loans in select stores. RimTyme, a custom-wheels-and-tires franchise brand which ColorTyme opened in 2007, now operates 25 stand-alone-stores in 11 states. The company’s rent to own franchise network continues to grow, and ColorTyme continues to work on new, future revenue sources for its franchisees.