A brief history of the American pawn shop FEB 13 2012
Wendy Woloson on pawn shops, which are currently getting the reality TV treatment.
According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, a trade group, there are now more than 30 million pawnshop customers per year. The value of the average loan in 2009 was $100, up 20 percent from the previous year. About 80 percent of pawners pay off their loans and redeem their collateral, though redemptions are on the decline.