AMERICAN PAWN SHOP INC JOINED NPA IN 1992 WITH ONE STORE. In 2003, they added two more stores, and in 2004, added another two. We caught up with Jonathon Gandy, one of the managers, to find out a little more about the pawn business in southern Georgia.
NATIONAL PAWNBROKER (NP): Tell us about your company.
JONATHON GANDY (JG): American Pawn Shop Inc has five stores located in the southern part of Georgia – Thomasville, Moultrie, Cairo, Bainbridge, and Americus. The company has been in business for 30 years and is owned by three brothers – Steve, David, and Marty Hufstetler.
NP: How did you get started in the pawn industry?
JG: While employed in law enforcement at the University of Georgia, I conducted research at the UGA library along with visiting pawn stores in the area.
NP: What makes your stores different from other pawn stores in the area?
JG: Most of our stores are larger than any others in the area and have a much larger and diverse inventory. All of our stores have great employees who understand that customer service is our number one priority.
NP: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing pawnbrokers today?
JG: Federal legislation that is detrimental to our industry.
NP: How does American Pawn Shop Inc give back to the local community?
JG: We participate in charitable contribution requests which amount to around $30,000 per year companywide. We also sponsor an annual $5000 college scholarship fund for children of law enforcement.
NP: How will the new Military Lending Act rate cap affect your company?
JG: If it is passed, it opens up the door for others receiving similar treatment that could put us out of business.
NP: What is your favorite thing about being a pawnbroker?
JG: Making money.
NP: Why are you a member of NPA?
JG: There is strength in numbers.