Retail and electronics are two segments that have changed dramatically over the past three decades. Countless giants of both segments have fallen to changing technology and consumer trends. Batteries Plus Bulbs is an unmistakable exception. In the 30 years since the first Batteries Plus Bulbs store opened, the company has seen consistent growth, carefully expanding into new markets and establishing more than 725 stores across the U.S. with more on the way.
Much of the franchise’s resilience can be attributed to a quality and speed of service that other retailers are unable to match. Anyone who has ever had to wait for a new phone battery knows that even the fastest two-day shipping options offered by online retailers aren’t fast enough, and Batteries Plus Bulbs’ emphasis on friendly, professional service offers significant relief to anyone who might be nervous about handing off an expensive device filled with personal information to an anonymous employee at a giant corporation.
“Immediacy is so important to our business,” said Cathleen Stewart, VP of marketing for Batteries Plus Bulbs. “Whether it’s power for a device, light for an important room, or a broken phone or tablet, we need to be there quickly. And we believe in the human element as an essential part of the service. Our employees’ expertise gives our customers confidence and trust in our services. We build a great relationship with them, and they keep coming back. That’s how we’ve built lasting loyalty to the brand.”
As for brick-and-mortar competitors, Stewart says Batteries Plus Bulbs offers an array of services that most retailers can’t match, including cell phone repairs as well as batteries and bulbs for products ranging from cell phones to boats and ATVs, but the biggest differentiator is the trust and brand awareness that Batteries Plus Bulbs has built throughout its decades of careful expansion.
“We have more locations than anyone else,” she said. “We’re a known and trusted brand, so we’re the first place customers think of when they need a new battery or a screen repair.”
Further distinguishing the brand from competitors, Batteries Plus Bulbs has also established a thriving commercial sales side to the business, offering wholesale distribution not only to local businesses but also to schools, fire stations, manufacturing centers and even municipalities.
“While we are predominantly a retail business, our stores also serve as distributors, providing area businesses with batteries and bulbs that they use every day in their operations,” Stewart said.
Batteries Plus Bulbs’ enviable market share is also due in part to the franchise’s measured approach to expansion, which deliberately establishes new stores in key locations that are primed for the business.
“We look for areas where we can find a number of distinct markets that do not overlap,” said John Twist, Batteries Plus Bulbs’ vice president of franchise development. “That allows each of our stores to really establish themselves in their respective markets. They become the authority in their town and a fixture of the community.”
To reach a wide audience in each market, Stewart says the brand has established a robust and diverse marketing strategy.
“We have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that capitalizes on the millions of daily online searches for the products and services we offer, and we’re able to connect those customers to our local stores by purchasing online and picking up in-store. Those efforts are rounded out by traditional marketing, including television, radio, print, PR and guerrilla marketing.”
All of those marketing efforts emphasize what Stewart says are the brand’s three primary value propositions: “breadth, immediacy and service.”
The franchise’s focus on those three principles has made Batteries Plus Bulbs an enduring fixture in the ever-evolving retail landscape, one that has become a definitive customer favorite in markets across the U.S.