The words “no credit needed” generate a powerful attraction in the retail industry, according to Dan White, national account manager for West Creek, a new Home Furnishings Association solution partner.
West Creek is a financial firm that provides rent-to-own services directly to consumers but engages them in your furniture store.
Millions of Americans are “credit invisible,” White says, noting that 66 percent of millennials don’t have credit cards. “They’re not bad with credit, they’re just not using credit,” he says.
Millions more have inaccurate or incomplete information on their credit reports or have more borrowing capacity than they’re given credit for, no pun intended.
‘We look for ways to say yes’
“We want to increase approval rates and amounts,” White says. “We look for ways to say yes.”
West Creek’s services open “enormous opportunity” for retailers, White adds, allowing them to “capture entirely new customers who desire to buy from you but think they can’t right now because it isn’t possible.”
For many, not only is it possible, but consumers previously shut out of the credit market can be graduated into the mainstream. And that can produce long-term benefits for retailers.
“If you treat customers like a prime credit customer, you will have their loyalty,” White says.
West Creek, based near Richmond, Va., uses machine intelligence to analyze applications, which are submitted in the store, and publicly available data about applicants to make decisions in seconds – often less than 10 seconds. Approvals are made for specific amounts – up to $1,000, for example – and terms are clearly spelled out with a payment calculator. The process is completed with total transparency, White says. “We don’t hide. We want customers to know.” They’re sent a text message with all the information immediately after the sale.
Most West Creek customers own their homes
More than 60 percent of West Creek’s customers own their homes, White says. One-fourth have annual incomes of between $50,000 and $75,000, and another 39 percent fall between $35,000 and $50,000. Even though the term of the lease is at least 12 months, about one-third of customers pay in full within 100 days. That allows them to make further purchases sooner.
West Creek claims a high consumer net promoter score, as most customers surveyed say they would do business with West Creek again. Most importantly, when asked whether “no credit needed” encourages them to make a purchase, according to surveys, most consumers say yes.
Yes is West Creek’s favorite answer.
For more information about what West Creek can do for Home Furnishings Association members, call an HFA membership staff member at 800-422-3778.