From Northland News Center Dot Com
Hibbing Native Builds Pawn Shop Empire
By KBJR News 1
February 6, 2012
HIBBING, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter)—One Hibbing native continues to change the public’s perception of pawn shops as he builds a multi-state empire.
Since opening his first shop in Robbinsdale in 1991, Rixmann now owns and manages 23 Pawn America shops across the Midwest.
“All we have to do is elevate ourselves above what people’s perspective is, or their perception of what we should be,” Rixmann said. “That is what has made us truly successful.”
Serving more than 200,000 customers, Pawn America is one of the fastest growing private companies in the Twin Cities area.
But, overcoming the negative stereotype associated with pawn shops didn’t come easy.
“I think the image wasn’t very good initially, but since he’s came in, I think he’s definitely changed that,” Andy McKinnon, a Loan Supervisor with PayDay America said. “You know we are just like any other retail store, that’s how we look at it.”
“We need people to feel comfortable with us as being a neighbor,” Rixmann said. “I want a pawn store in Hibbing. I want a new pawn store in Duluth. I want a pawn store in Edina, I want one on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. I want a pawn store where many people wouldn’t think a pawn store would be located.”
Rixmann’s son, 12-year-old Caleb, is featured in several Pawn America commercials as the ventriloquist, Eggmoe.
He plans to stay in the family business and is already learning from his father’s entrepreneurial intuition.
“If he’s in a meeting, sometimes he’ll say why don’t you sit in and it’ll help you when you grow up,” Caleb said.
The National Pawn Brokers Association named Rixmann Pawn Broker of the Year in 2007.