Showplace began life as TV Outlet in January 1981, with owner Gary Ferriman and his wife Mary Ann selling color TV sets from the front porch of their Marion home while working full time jobs. TV Outlet found its first commercial location in April 1982, and that is the "anniversary date" for what is now known as Showplace, Inc.
It was suggested to Gary and then-partner Ron Simpson in 1983, while buying trade-ins in Cleveland, Ohio, to rent them weekly for $10. They liked the idea and began to do so.
The business grew rapidly in 1983, adding new Zenith and Quasar TV and Electronics, as well as 10-foot C-Band Satellite Dish installations. Now known as TV Outlet & Satellite and doing near $1 million in a small, 2000 square foot location, the business moved to its current location on Bellefontaine Avenue.
TV Outlet & Satellite took on movie rentals, new GE appliances, and several brands of furniture for the home, including Ashley Furniture. By 1989, it was decided to open two additional RTO (rent-to-own) locations - Kenton and Edison (since moved to Mt. Gilead). Video rentals and satellite businesses were sold. TV Outlet was "all in" doing rent-to-own.
The business was renamed Showplace in the early 1990's. Ron Simpson sold his shares in 1995. Showplace reached a peak of 25 RTO locations in 2000, then downsized to improve quality of service in 2003. Showplace currently operates 15 locations in the central Ohio area serving Ashland, Bellefontaine, Bucyrus, west Columbus, Delaware, Findlay, Galion, Kenton, Mansfield, Marysville, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Springfield, Tiffin and Upper Sandusky, and their surrounding areas.
From the beginning, Gary Ferriman attended state and national industry trade association conventions and participated in the construction of the Ohio state statute regulating the industry. Gary has served as president for two terms of the national Association of Progressive Rental Organizations, and received the 2017 Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year award. Gary also served the boards of both the Ohio Rental Dealers Association and The Rental Industry Buying Group (a division of BrandSource) for several terms, including stints as vice president of each.
Showplace is now in its second generation of family management with son Keith Ferriman serving as Executive Vice President, directing operations and marketing. Keith is currently vice president of the Ohio Rental Dealers Association and serves on the Specialty Committee of The Rental Industry Buying Group.