As EasyHome moves in to the US market, they will face competition from existing giant rent-to-own distributors, millennial focused start-ups, and business conglomerates. Six competitors have been identified to give a snapshot of the domestic furniture rental market and help EasyHome position itself in this growing sector.
- Rent-a-Center, https://www.rentacenter.com/
- With the largest physical footprint in the US rent-to-own marketplace since 1986, Rent-a-Center employs 18,000 people across 2,000 stores in the United States, US territories and Mexico with 7 unique brands, and recently acquired a digital platform in Merchants Preferred, a virtual lease-to-own provider.
- They tout many of the same benefits over credit and layaway as EasyHome, such as flexible payment options, free delivery and repairs, and no credit needed.
- Their customer focused model has helped propel them to $2.7 billion in revenue from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019. Their size and domestic saturation makes them a challenge to EasyHome's expansion.
- Aaron's, https://www.aarons.com/
- Founded in 1955, Aaron's operates it's lease-to-own furniture, electronics, home appliance and accessory marketplace in 1,600 stores in 47 US states and approximately 15 in Canada as well as an online store at their eponymous website.
- Aaron's also owns Progressive Lending, a virtual lease-to-own company, that provides purchase solutions at 20,000 retail locations in 46 US states. Aaron's finished 2019 with record annual revenues.
- Like EasyHome Aaron's takes customer service a step further with a loyalty program that provides lease protection benefits such as involuntary unemployment and accident payment waivers, discount medical services, as well as rental car and hotel discounts. Like Rent-a-Center their size and history makes them a formidable competitor to EasyHome. Their loyalty program also offers many of the same benefits offered by EasyHome that could make inciting customers to change services more difficult.
- Buddy's, https://www.buddyrents.com/
- Buddy's is the largest independent lease-to-own dealer in the US, and 3rd largest overall, with over 330 physical locations. Of these, nearly 90% are operated by franchisees. Started in 1961, Buddy's touts itself as "the fastest growing rental-purchase and lease to own company in the US".
- Buddy's was acquired by Liberty Tax in 2019, with an enterprise value of $122 million. Buddy's franchise operation and new management provide a challenge to EasyHome's entry in to the US market, particularly in the southern US.
- CasaOne, https://www.casaone.com/
- Started in San Francisco in 2017, CasaOne, and its office focused partner BureauOne, are bringing the lease-to-own market into the 21st century with stylish options aimed at younger customers. With a heavily tech-focused business model, CasaOne and BureauOne are making big leaps into first-rate US cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
- Their latest round of funding in 2019 brought in $16 million, which they plan to use to eliminate any friction in the furniture buying process with tools like digital 3D models and a larger pool of space planning experts to assist new and existing clients plan their perfect home, office, or home office.
- CasaOne and similar start-ups are "disrupting" the market and grabbing millennial who associate older furniture rental companies with low quality and predatory tactics. EasyHome will have to contend with the price points, style, and digital savvy of new outfits like CasaOne.
- Inhabitr, https://www.inhabitr.com
- Started in 2016 by two young Chicagoans sick of dragging furniture from apartment to apartment, Inhabitr caters to millennial and city residents with seasonal needs.
- With a new $4 million in Series A funding, Inhabitr operates in 10 cities in the U.S. and aims to grow by streamlining the furniture design, manufacture, and retail process. The company works directly with manufacturers to source products, with an emphasis on modern style and sustainability, and then partners with existing moving and retail furniture stores for delivery logistics.
- The focus on high quality products is what sets Inhabitr apart from existing lease-to-own giants who tend to focus on the most affordable product. Inhabitr's focus on high quality product may dictate how EasyHome make it's US entry. Like CasaOne, Inhabitr is another digital output with strong holdings in markets saturated with mobile young people turned off by unimaginative offerings and poor service.
- CORT, https://www.cort.com/
- CORT began with a customer service mindset that has served it well. Over 40 years, CORT has become the US's leading provider of "transition services", with over 100 showrooms nationally and 80 outfits around the globe. Now a part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, CORT covers the furniture market with home and office rentals and complete room sets, as well event furnishings and destination services for those who are relocating to a completely new country or city.
- Within the furniture industry, CORT is known to have targeted the corporate furniture marketplace, with a focus on banks, consultants, and Fortune 500 executives.
- Their success has come from providing corporations and small businesses office furniture on a "rent-to-rent" basis (versus "rent-to-own"). The company also provides residential furniture and housewares for corporate apartments and individual employees and booth furnishing rentals for trade shows. EasyHome would likely not want to compete with CORT for corporate rental services, but can work to solidify their position as the preferred home rental service provider.