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Best Buy Testing Lease-To-Own With Aaron’s

Thirty-five state rollout coming this spring.

Best Buy is piloting a lease-to-own payment option at select stores in Texas, and will begin rolling the program out to 35 states this spring.

The effort is being implemented by Progressive Leasing, a subsidiary of rent-to-own chain Aaron’s, which provides the service to other retailers including Conn’s. Progressive said its lease-to-own offering serves as a financing alternative for customers who don’t qualify for credit.

According to a report in CEoutlook, the majority of Best Buy’s product assortment will be eligible for leasing, with several Connecticut locations citing a minimum/maximum price range of $100 to $3,000 and a launch date of mid-March. In a statement issued to the 12-volt newsletter, Best Buy said exclusions will include certain products, categories and brands, and that the program, which has been trialed in parts of Texas for the past two years, will begin a 35-state launch “in the coming weeks.”

On a conference call following yesterday’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement, Best Buy chief financial officer Corie Barry said the delinquency rate on such programs is typically less than 1 percent, and that a lease-to-own option would expand the retailer’s customer base and help attract younger shoppers with no credit history.

According to a dedicated Best Buy FAQ page on Progressive Leasing’s website, customers can apply for the program at in-store kiosks at participating locations. Progressive’s plans typically cap the lease term at 12 months, and provide low initial payments and flexible schedules, including 90-day payment and early buyout options.