Top 10 American Franchises

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Buddy’s Home Furnishings Awards Eleven Storefronts in Virginia to Multi-Unit Operating Groups


Buddy’s Home Furnishings will expand its Virginia footprint by eleven through multi-unit franchise agreements signed with WRE, LLC and Kappa Investments, LLC. WRE plans to convert six of their rent-to-own locations to Buddy’s storefronts, while Kappa Investments will add five additional locations, two of which are already open.



“Our franchise model offers an attractive investment opportunity for existing franchise owners and new, entrepreneurial-minded individuals looking to scale,” said Buddy’s CEO Michael Bennett. “The leadership behind WRE and Kappa Investments share our vision for growth, and we’re thrilled to expand our Virginia footprint alongside their dedicated teams.”


Owned by Robert Smith and Ernie Thompson, WRE has operated in Virginia since 2002. After more than 16 years in the retail industry, the company began stepping into the rent-to-own space in 2018.


“We both had backgrounds in the furniture and retail industries,” said Smith. “After we went into business together, we saw a real need for alternative financing options in our community, which is how we were introduced to rent-to-own.” 


“In the past, balancing backend and operational issues along with merchandising has been a challenge,” said Thompson. “Thanks to the support of the team behind Buddy’s, we’ll now be freed up to focus more on our valued customers and supplying the community with everyday necessities.”


The existing Virginia stores, previously known as Hometown Sales & Leasing, are located in South Hill, Blackstone, Ashland, Smithfield, Kilmarnock, and Farmville. The conversions will take place over the next six months. 


“This feels like a fresh start for us,” said WRE District Manager Bryan Caulder. “Buddy’s franchise model is the perfect combination of what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been missing. I’m excited to see how much better we can be together and the impact we will have on these communities in Virginia.” 


Earlier in March, Buddy’s awarded five Virginia stores to established multi-unit operator Kappa Investments. Led by owner Jerry Marshall, Kappa Investments has franchised with Buddy’s for the past five years.