Two sell electronics, guns at Pawn Depot in Brainerd

Two sell electronics, guns at Pawn Depot in Brainerd

March 22nd, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

Joel Towe, Dustin Earls and Dorian Raymond talk about holsters for a pistol at Pawn Depot. Towe and Earls worked behind the counter at the Pawn Depot on Brainerd Road. Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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• Name: Pawn Depot

• Location: 3646 Brainerd Road

• Products/services: The store sells "anything you can imagine," with an ever-changing selection, said co-owner Duane Goff. The pawnshop specializes in electronics, music equipment, guns and ammunition. It uses a national database to check prices on items to be pawned, and can perform telephone evaluations.

• Age: Three months

• Startup investment: $250,000

• Anticipated annual sales: $250,000

• Target market: Ideal customers need a short-term cash loan that is guaranteed by some sort of tangible item that will have value to other customers.

• Biggest hurdle: "Regulations are pretty tough," said fellow owner Samuel Keys. The cost of capital is also high, as is the competition against nearby pawnshops owned by chains, he said.

• Biggest reward: "Obviously, we like to see people be able to pay their utility bill," Goff said.

• Challenges in the future: The owners fear that gun regulations could be tightening, increasing the already hefty stack of paperwork they constantly face.

• Lesson learned: "We wish we had checked the sign regulations in Hamilton County," joked Goff, gesturing to his "now open" sign that he was forced to move away from the street.

• Five-year goal: Goff would like to see the store grow into a place of business that customers think of as their local solution, as opposed to chain stores. The shop has the ability to double its space if business picks up.

• Contact: 933-3693

- Compiled by staff writer Ellis Smith, esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315