Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cash America buying more Charlotte locations

Nationwide pawn and payday lender Cash America International Inc. said Wednesday that it will buy three new locations in Charlotte.

The $62 million deal with PawnMart Inc. also includes 31 locations in Georgia. In Charlotte, it will increase its presence by a third from the nine stores in the city already.

PawnMart's three Charlotte locations being purchased are on North Tryon Street near Sugar Creek Road; on Albemarle Road near Independence Boulevard; and on South Boulevard near Archdale Drive.

Though payday lending has been illegal in North Carolina for more than 10 years, pawn lending is not. Cash America does not offer its cash advances in North Carolina stores, according to its website. The payday lending industry, however, has been advocating for a return to the state. A bill that would bring them back didn't make it past committee in this year's state legislature.

But pawn shops have become an increasingly important financial center in the U.S., as The New York Times explored this week. In a bid to pick up customers being left behind by bigger banks, they've been increasing their consumer loans, bill paying services and prepaid cards.