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Aaron's largest franchisee opens its 100th store

ATLANTA — Aaron's largest franchisee, SEI/Aaron's, has opened its 100th store with a new location in Concord, N.H.

SEI/Aaron's was established in 1995 by Charles Smithgall and has opened rent-to-own stores in the Northeast and Midwest, employing more than 900 people. The company said it also has donated more than $300,000 to local organizations over the years on behalf of Aaron's Community Outreach Program.

"We owe this milestone achievement to a combination of nearly two decades of hard work, a staff of dedicated associates, a loyal customer base and Aaron's infallible business model," said Smithgall, who is SEI/Aaron's chairman and CEO.

"When we move into a new market, we not only provide a much-needed service, but we also become integrated into the community in every way possible. We partner with local businesses and support area charities and schools. We look forward to applying this winning formula in Concord and hopefully 100 more stores across the nation in the years to follow," he said.

To celebrate the new store's grand opening, SEI/Aaron's said it has donated five laptop computers for fifth graders at Broken Ground Elementary School. The company also contributed a 50-inch TV, a camera and a Blu-ray player to the annual Concord Boys and Girls Club auction on Dec. 8.

SEI/Aaron's opened its first Aaron's stores in Kentucky and Indiana before expanding into New England in 1999. It has continued to open stores and acquire stores from other Aaron's franchisees and Aaron's Inc.

SEI/Aaron's was voted the top franchise company in the Aaron's system in 1997 and was runner-up for the honor in 1999. In 2001 and 2002, it was selected by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America.

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