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Aaron Rents to Open 140 New Stores in 2004; Add 800 Employees Systemwide

Furniture World Magazine


Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE: RNT), the nation's leader in the rental, sales and lease ownership, and specialty retailing of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories, today confirmed it was on track to open 140 new Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership stores in 2004. So far in 2004, the Company has opened systemwide 31 new stores and added 10 more through acquisition. The Company also said that more than 800 additional employees would be hired in the current year to support this growth. "As previously announced, we plan to open approximately 140 new stores in 2004, a combination of Company-operated and franchised stores, and will also continue to look for acquisition opportunities," said R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron Rents. "To support this growth we anticipate that the Company and our franchisees will hire a total of more than 800 additional employees nationwide this year." The Company plans to hire approximately 500 employees in 2004, with 400 employed in its Company-operated stores, 50 employed in its furniture manufacturing plants and distribution centers, and the remainder in corporate and regional support services. It is also anticipated that the Company's franchise operations will add over 300 new employees. "We are quite pleased with the performance of our Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership stores," Mr. Loudermilk continued. "The additional hiring is normal for the growth we are experiencing. We feel the current year will be very successful for both the Company and its franchisees." The Company will announce its first quarter results for 2004 on April 26. Aaron Rents will hold a conference call to discuss its quarterly financial results on Monday, April 26, 2004, at 4:30 pm Eastern Time. The public is invited to listen in to the call by webcast accessible through the Company's website, http://www.aaronrents.com , in the "Investor Relations" section. The webcast will be archived for playback at that same site. Aaron Rents, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has 888 Company-operated and franchised stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada for the rental and sale of residential and office furniture, accessories, consumer electronics and household appliances. The Company also manufactures furniture, bedding and accessories at 10 facilities in four states.