“On June 21, 2022, I began a journey to visit as many members as possible of the MS Pawnbrokers Association before the year was up. As of July 31, my wife and I have logged 1,864 miles over 27 different cities and visited 60 pawnshop members.
The goal was to get out from behind the computer screen and get some face-to-face interaction to see how everyone has been doing since the pandemic.
Some have done well and continue to grow while others seem to be just hanging on. Most of the stores (95%) have welcomed us with smiling faces. We had a store in Greenwood, MS (The Oddity Shop) send over a nice gift basket to our hotel. One store had planned to cook for us, but the weather got in the way.
Then there were a few that just ignored us, like we were imposing on them. One owner had his employee tell us to come back another time as they were too busy. I let them know we had driven 2 ½ hours just to say hello and another time would not likely happen.
It’s been a learning experience for sure but sadly we are finding our industry is shrinking. We found several stores on our list to be closed for good upon arrival. I believe we have had 14 stores close since the beginning of 2021.
Read more and see photos at Mississippi Pawnbrokers Association’s Facebook Page.