Rent-to-own retail chain booms through recession

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The Independent Online

Brighthouse, the rent -to-own retailer is booming as recession-hit families on low incomes queue up to buy Snuggle sofas and washing machines over a number of years.

The company, which has 188 shops, said its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation jumped by 23.7 per cent to £14.6m over the six months to September, as total sales rose 15.6 per cent. It is on track to open 20 new stores this financial year, and 11 of them opened in the first half.

BrightHouse has powered ahead during the recession as hard-up customers, who typically pay for a product over three years and then keep it, flocked to its stores. Its upholstery and laundry departments performed the best over the past six months, with sales up 65 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

But the retailer said it expects laptops, games consoles and flat-screen TVs to be the most sought-after products this year.