Local pawn shops taking an economic hit, too

Tyler Williams checks out a shotgun at Capital Pawn last week as store owner Bob McEowen looks on.

Tyler Williams checks out a shotgun at Capital Pawn last week as store owner Bob McEowen looks on. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

While data shows that pawn shops nationally have prospered through the recession, two Jefferson City pawn shops say the trend isn’t holding true locally.

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Of a half dozen local pawn shops contacted for this story, owners of two shops, Capital Pawn and Missouri Boulevard Pawn and Gun Shop, agreed to be interviewed.

Business is “not nearly as good as what it used to be, I can guarantee you that,” said Bill Wright, owner of Missouri Boulevard Pawn & Gun, 911 Missouri Blvd. “With this economy, a lot of folks lost all their good stuff and don’t have anything left to pawn. And the retail sales are way down compared to what they were 8, 10, 12 years ago.”

A recent market report by industry research firm IBISWorld in Los Angeles said the pawnshop industry “has thrived through tough economic times,” with a 2.6 percent annual growth rate since 2006.

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