MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services recently had the opportunity to have an interview by email with Jerry Whitehead, a consultant with the Pawnshop Consulting Group.
Since the late 80’s, Jerry Whitehead has been working a large network of people and service providers through various state and national pawn associations and working professional relationships. This extensive network base has allowed for the development of the Pawnshop Consulting group.
The group includes a number of highly recognized industry and financial professionals. Some of these include financial, operational, information systems specialists and others providing a wide array of systems and services. Over these years the group has been providing a wide range of consulting services and needs to a number of institutional types and investment bankers along with single and multi-store operators, both private and public nationally and internationally, in many different markets and countries on multiple levels.
To date the group, and Mr. Whitehead, have been responsible for the acquisition or sale of more than 200 Pawnshops in the past 25 years and currently assist hundreds of clients in 28 countries and in some 25 states in the United States.
MIM: What do see for the growth of the pawnshop industry globally?
JW: With the current economic downturn that is going on globally, I see further recession worldwide and further erosion of conventional banking systems. This should spell opportunity for the pawn industry globally. We are seeing a lot of growth activity by the US based public companies and a lot of growth by other international groups, especially in Mexico and in Latin America.
MIM: What is the prospect for the growth of online pawnshops? I’m wondering if the pawner feels comfortable to send a hard asset off to someone they have never met, and will likely never meet, and get a fair deal.
JW: EBay has proven people are comfortable with shipping goods and e-money around the world. I have a client who has opened an online business, Internet Pawn, and so far so good. I contend this will be a hard space to define and do agree it will be challenging to move, evaluate, and lend on goods via online.
MIM: Will the rise in precious metal prices have any effect on the pawn industry?
JW: Yes. Metals prices will affect us in a good way. As the world becomes more disillusioned with currencies, and as more central banks stock pile gold, we will see this precious metal continue to rise. We should see $1,500 dollars per ounce by year end, and $5,000 an ounce in the next 3 – 5 years. In my opinion, it should be a win-win scenario for all of us in this industry.
Jerry Whitehead can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org