Mattresses were presented in a good-better-best array replete with branded pillows and skirting in TRIB Group’s concept showroom.

By Dennis Shields, TRIB Group

Before TRIB Group’s rent-to-own (RTO) members head out to our spring show in Atlanta next month, it’s worth recapping a highlight of our last gathering.

At last year’s RTO World meeting and buy fair in Louisville, Ky., TRIB Group was pleased to introduce something new: RTO Works. The project was led by TRIB and David P. David, owner of American Rentals, a successful chain of RTO retail stores in the Midwest, and a member of the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO).

The goal of the project was to put together a retail space on the floor of the RTO World tradeshow to illustrate how a successful RTO store can be designed to maximize sales in all product categories. The RTO Works store featured 4,000 square feet of space – about the size of the average retail store – and product from all TRIB categories were donated by vendors for the display.

Each detail was chosen with the customer in mind. From the moment guests step through the door they are presented with groupings of furniture similar to most retail furniture stores. Along the side of the prototype store is a selection of mattresses with good, better and best options to choose from. Each one is dressed in branded pillows and skirting from the manufacturer. Accessories such as lamps, silk plants, rugs and artwork are included in each of the living room groups. This approach encourages customers to go beyond purchasing just a sofa or chair by presenting them with a well-coordinated look for their homes. 

TVs and other electronics are strategically placed behind the sales counter, an eye-catching location that often gathers interest from customers who were not shopping for a television before coming in but noticed the models while checking out at the register. The same applies to the lighted jewelry section built into the counter by the register, again strategically placed so that the sparkling earrings, bracelets and gems catch the attention of customers at the counter. Appliances in a variety of colors and features are grouped together nearby as well. 

This space gave many of our members fresh ideas about how to design their own sales floors. We would like to thank David, his team from Full-O-Pep, and Countryside Rental employees for putting this together, as well as the vendors who brought extra product to the show to make RTO Works possible. 

Now that RTO World is behind us, we at TRIB Group are shifting our focus to our spring show, Meeting of the Minds 2020. This event will be held Feb. 23-26 at The Waverly Renaissance Hotel/Cobb Convention Center just north of Atlanta. We invite current members and RTO retailers considering joining our buying group to visit our website,, for more information on our organization and our upcoming meeting.

Dennis Shields is Executive Director of TRIB Group, the rent-to-own affiliate of YSN publisher AVB Inc.

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