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Rent-A-Center Store Sales Plummet in Fourth Quarter 2016

Rent-A-CenterTexas-based franchisor Rent-A-Center Inc. [NASDAQ:RCII] announced Wednesday that same-store sales are estimated to have dropped by 14 percent in its core U.S. stores for the fourth quarter that ended December 31, 2016. It will complete its official financial results on February 13. That bit of bad news comes after a 12 percent drop in same-store sales in core U.S. stores in its third quarter.

The company of 2,600 stores in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico anticipates losses.

The chain has been plagued by technical problems from its roll out of a new POS system, and it anticipates several more quarters before the complications are resolved. Rent-A-Center has 230 franchised stores within the rent-to-own furniture chain.

"The fourth quarter proved to be more challenging than expected," said Mark E. Speese, interim chief executive officer of Rent-A-Center, Inc. "In our Core Rent-A-Center stores, recovery from the POS system issues in recapturing the rental portfolio lost during prior periods and account management improvement did not happen as quickly as planned. While the portfolio increased sequentially, as it typically does during the period, the company was heavily promotional which also impacted the quarter."

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