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Aaron’s holds on-site interviews

Aaron’s is coming to Demopolis, and in advance of its opening, the rental business held on-site job interviews at the Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday.

Regional manager Paul Smith said about 75 people came to the interview session, which ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Mainly, we were going to do interviews today, but we’ve only been able to do a handful because we took so many applications,” Smith said. “The turnout was a lot more than we expected, based on what we’ve done in the last few months. It was all we could do to keep up with the applications and guide people to fill out the paperwork.

“We’re going to have to come back and do more one-on-one interviews with the people. We’ll probably call people in for interviews next week to go to one of our local stores that already open. We’ll ask them to come to that store to sit down for one-on-one interviews, then go through our series of hiring.”

Smith said the company tries to get its store crew hired three to four weeks before opening the store so they can be trained and prepared when the store opens.

He said the Demopolis store’s general manager would come from an established Aaron’s store, and the company would hire five or six people locally to work at the store, to be located on U.S. Highway 80 West across from Wal-Mart.

Aaron’s is a rent-to-own business that specializes in office furniture, computers, electronics and appliances.

The Demopolis location would be the only one between Selma and Meridian, Miss., and between Tuscaloosa and Mobile, although Smith said the company planned to open stores in Jackson and Greenville.

“Demopolis is a good market; it’s a good-sized populated town,” Smith said. “We’re starting to venture into the bigger towns. We’re pretty saturated in the cities all across America, with well over 1,500 stores nationwide. Now, we’re going into the bigger towns that we feel is a good market for us.

“It’s kind of hard for our markets in Selma and Meridian to service an area like Demopolis, being so far out. When you run into accounts and deliveries and service, that’s a long way to travel. There are customers here who need our business, so we’re starting to venture into these towns.”

Smith said the store had planned to open in Demopolis in late July, but the date may be pushed back to the first week of August.