NPA Weekly NewsBrief
May 10, 2011

Virgina pawnshops busy after Bin Laden news
The Virginian-Pilot
When word came that Osama bin Laden was dead, a crowd gathered at Nathan's Lynnhaven Pawn Shop of Virginia Beach, Va. Why? Gold prices spiked briefly after the world's most-wanted terrorist was killed.More

National Pawn Mother's Day essay contest winners announced
National Pawn
Neo Best, a kindergarten student at Pathways Elementary School and Horacio A. Rios, a fifth grader at Central Elementary School, both in Hillsborough, N.C., submitted the winning essays in a Mother's Day contest sponsored by National Pawn. With the two students tied for first place, Bob Moulton, owner of National Pawn, declared that he would award two first place prizes. The topic of the essay was, "My Mother," and the prizes included a pair of diamond earrings valued at $2,000.More

Many CEOs getting paid more than before recession
The Associated Press via Fort Worth Star-Telegram
CEOs at the nation's largest companies were paid more last year than they were in 2007, when the economy was booming, the stock market set a record high and unemployment was roughly half what it is today. Top-paid CEOs of Tarrant County, Texas-based public companies include Cash America's Dan Feehan and Rick Wessel of First Cash Financial, both earning $3.3 million. More

Once a pawn a time
Small Business Opportunities
Robbie Whitten is the CEO of Money Mizer Pawn & Jewelry, a growing chain of franchised pawn stores in the Southeast. His brand logo includes the traditional pawnbroker's symbol of three gold spheres hanging from a bar. But to his many customers and increasing numbers of Americans, Whitten's stores represent a convenient, comfortable, one-stop shop where they can not only obtain small loans and cash checks, but also buy and sell fine jewelry, sporting goods, electronics, computers, cameras and tools, as well a variety of unique and hard-to-find items.More

High-Yo Silver, away!
Maclean's
Is silver the new gold? In Canada, silver prices have risen 154 percent in the last 12 months, compared to 32 percent for gold. The silver surge is proving a bonanza for pawnbrokers and jewelery buyers, who are now urging people to sell anything from their silver coins.More

EZCorp acquires 7 pawnshops
Austin Business Journal
Austin, Texas-based EZCorp Inc. continued its roll-up growth strategy, buying seven retail pawn stores in the Salt Lake City region. The pawn and loan giant previously announced plans to add at least 110 locations to its chain of more than 1,000 this year. More

Pawnbrokers see influx of clients who fear banks
Financial Times
Worsening financial hardship is driving custom back to the pawnbrokers, but their shops have moved on from Victorian times. As well as pledging jewelery, most operators offer gold buying, unsecured loans, prepaid credit cards and check cashing to the credit-constrained. The industry has been boosted by record gold prices and increased demand for loans by "subprime" clients to whom banks will no longer lend.More

Hudson Falls, NY, eyes first law on secondhand shops
Glens Falls Post-Star
The strangest thing James Bonacci was ever asked to buy was half a bag of Pampers Pull Ups. The first of March to the first of June is the busiest time of year for people trying to sell Bonacci used items at The Cash Cow, his secondhand shop in Hudson Falls, N.Y. "Income taxes are back and people have spent money of things they can't really afford to keep and now can't pay their rent or mortgage," he said. More

Pawnshops go upscale and online
Smartmoney.com
When Jim De Lisa's chain of six furniture stores went belly-up midrecession, the New Jersey father-of-five found himself in a fix. He was suddenly unemployed and broke, and his credit score, he says, was "in the crapper." Pushed to the edge by looming house and car payments, he did the unthinkable: He pawned his wife's $18,000 engagement ring. But no one ever saw him visit the pawnshop — De Lisa hocked the 1.7-karat stunner over the Internet. Is no industry immune to the inexorable forces of technology and gentrification? More

Retailers reining in sophisticated theft rings
The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA Today
Police say 19 people spent two years clearing shelves of local Kroger, Walgreens, Wal-mart and Dick's Sporting Goods stores, then selling the stolen items to unsuspecting customers for cents on the dollar. Crest Whitestrips, Blu-ray players and Under Armour apparel. Wii games and Norelco razors. Duracell batteries. In all, $250,000 worth of stolen goods raided from two Northern Kentucky pawnshops in perhaps the largest local bust of its kind. More

'Pawn Queens' has all the suspense of a coin toss
Hollywood Reporter via Reuters
TLC's current stab at chronicling the commerce of second-hand goods, "Pawn Queens," makes you wonder whether some professions are simply not worthy of their own show. At Naperville Jewelry and Loan, in un-exotic suburban Chicago, "the only pawnshop that caters to women," we're introduced to Nikki and Minda, the store's vaguely-sassy, blonde proprietors. More