By Mickey Winfield: PNT staff writer
Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, offering a variety of furniture, electronics, computers and appliances, opened its doors Friday on South Avenue C in Portales. A grand opening is planned later this month, according to store officials.
Store manager David Phillips comes to the brand new store from El Paso, Texas.
“We’re very excited about our grand opening here in Portales,” Phillips said. “What we’re trying to do is to get Aaron’s name out there.”
The building Aaron’s moved into has been used by several businesses over the years but was completely refurbished for Aaron’s.
“Aaron’s likes to do this stuff to revitalize the community,” Phillips said. “Instead of destroying some of these buildings.”
Phillips said Saturday they’d only had about 30 to 40 people come into the store, since their opening on Friday, but he expects the turnout to increase.
“I really don’t think a lot of people realized that we were opening,” Phillips said.
Phillips says some of the franchise’s most successful stores are in small towns.
“Portales is probably wondering why Aaron’s comes out to small towns,” Phillips said. “Aaron’s loves small towns. We actually do better in smaller towns.”
According to Phillips, Aaron’s, which started in 1955, has over 1,400 stores nationwide. The Portales store is company owned, and has five employees. One of Aaron’s biggest selling points is when a customer makes a purchase, there is no credit check.
“We had a guy that said he had to file a bankruptcy — it doesn’t matter to us,” Phillips said. “If you can provide us where you live, where you work and a few references, that’s all you need to get anything here.”
Portales resident and new Aaron’s employee Ryan Gonzales says it’s been a busy couple of days getting the store ready.
“We started bringing stuff into the store on Monday after the contractor did what they had to do,” Gonzales said. “And from Monday through Thursday, we brought everything into the store, set it up the way it looks just to get ready for th0e grand opening.”
“When customers come in, they see all the nice furniture we have and all the plasma TVs,” Gonzales said. “The way I see it, it’s just a different atmosphere from what they’re used to.”