1851
Q&A with Russ Reynolds, CEO of Batteries Plus Bulbs
Q&A with Russ Reynolds, CEO of Batteries Plus Bulbs

Russ Reynolds explains what makes Batteries Plus Bulbs stand out as a leading franchise in the specialty light bulb industry.

1851: What about Batteries Plus Bulbs makes it unique within its industry?

Reynolds: Batteries Plus Bulbs is the leading franchise in the $32 billion battery and $22 billion specialty light bulb industries, boasting a system-wide sales increase of 22.6 percent in the last three years. With many retail brands scrambling during the quick takeover of online-only businesses, Batteries Plus Bulbs has secured a foothold by being nimble in a changing retail climate and providing expertise and immediacy. Founded as Batteries Plus in 1988, the brand added specialty light bulbs and rebranded as Batteries Plus Bulbs in 2013. To address the change in business with the rise of mobile phones, every franchise location has launched a We Fix It® Repair Center, which offers repair services for laptops, phones and other devices.

1851: What have been some of the brand's most important milestones in its history?

Reynolds:

  • 1988: Our first Batteries Plus store opened in Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • 1992: Batteries Plus made a strategic decision to grow through franchising; the first franchise-owned retail store opened in Fort Wayne, Indiana the same year

  • 2003: Implemented a vertically integrated supply chain

  • 2004: Implemented corporate IT capabilities related to POS and online proprietary cross referencing tool

  • 2011: Took control of centralized distribution center from third party logistics provider

  • 2012-2017: Batteries Plus was named a top franchise by Entrepreneur magazine

  • 2013: To fill a gap in the specialty light bulb market, Batteries Plus added bulbs to its product line and began the transition to Batteries Plus Bulbs

  • 2014: To meet changing consumer demands and provide an additional revenue stream for our franchisees, Batteries Plus Bulbs launched smartphone and tablet repair services

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018*: Batteries Plus Bulbs was named one of Forbes magazine’s Top 10 Best Franchises to Buy in America (*Forbes did not release a ranking in 2017)

  • 2015: Omni channel website launched with centralized and expanded digital marketing campaign

  • 2018: Batteries Plus Bulbs began rolling out key and key fob services as an additional offering, with plans to roll out the program system-wide by the end of 2018.

1851: What plans does the brand have on deck in the coming years?

Reynolds: Batteries Plus Bulbs will continue its growth through franchising, with plans to sign 40 new franchise agreements in 2018. Territories are available in desired areas in Southern California and the Northeast, including Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, District of Columbia and Rhode Island.

1851: What does an ideal franchisee look like?

Reynolds: Batteries Plus Bulbs welcomes franchise owners from just about any background, but looks for certain characteristics to ensure that the right kind of franchise partners join the system. The brand’s best franchisees are natural leaders that are motivated by teamwork, have an entrepreneurial spirit but are inspired by following a proven system and are committed to exceptional customer service.

Batteries Plus Bulbs provides the necessary training, tools and support to get franchisees ready to open their doors, as well as ongoing education and growth opportunities to scale their businesses. Currently, 80 percent of locations are owned by franchisees who have taken on more than one location, which speaks to the strength of the model.

1851: Why is Batteries Plus Bulbs a good investment?

Reynolds: Batteries Plus Bulbs is a needs-based business with multiple revenue streams, including specialty batteries and light bulbs, as well as device repair. With a 30-year track record of success, 29 consecutive years of same-store sales growth, a national presence of more than 725 stores and territory available in desirable markets, Batteries Plus is the uncontested leader in both the battery and the light bulb industries and is the top cell phone repair franchise by number of retail locations nationwide.

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