Maggie Martinez, who worked in what used to be Lack’s Furniture Center, will be the general manager in the building where she made her living for 18 years.
The owner, Rudy Guzman of Victoria, said Buddy’s stores will be popping up throughout the state in the next year to 18 months. He said 150 new stores will open their doors in Texas alone.
“It’ll happen almost overnight,” Guzman said.
“Buddy’s was established in 1961 in Tampa, Fla., Guzman said. “They’ve been around a long time.”
The owner said he hopes to have the business open for customers here by the middle of this month. But there have been some delays getting the 25,000 square-foot building ready.
Although the original concept for Buddy’s was a rent-to-own furniture business, the operation has become more of a straight retail operation.
The difference is that Buddy’s leasing system gives customers many more ways to pay off a purchase.
Customers may pay monthly, semi-monthly or weekly, Guzman said.
Martinez is excited about being able to return to the furniture business and to be right back in the same building where she worked for Lack’s for almost two decades.
Rebecca Briseño will be working beside Martinez as the store’s sales manager.
“Customers are instantly approved with no credit check,” Martinez said.
“All you need is a place to live, a source of income and a few friends,” Guzman said.
“We’re excited,” Martinez said about the new business. “We just want to get in.”
Guzman said Buddy’s will have everything that a full-service furniture business can offer. But one advantage that Buddy’s has is the brand name products the store will have in stock.
Those products will include items made by Samsung, Ashley, Acer, Dell, LG, Maytag, Amana and Whirlpool.
Another option the store will offer is same-as-cash purchases with pay plans for two, four or six months.
Guzman said Buddy’s is probably the only rent-to-own company that provides a lifetime reinstatement offer.
If a customer is buying a rent-to-own product and, for some reason, has to stop making payments and return the product, that customer will be able to re-enter the contract and start the payments again with the previous payments still counting toward the final purchase.
“If you started something, we want you to come back and finish,” Guzman said.
Buddy’s will also provide free delivery and installation for any product within a 50-mile radius of the store.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.