What I Like About the Batteries Plus Franchise Opportunity
1. Batteries Plus is the largest and fastest growing battery retailer in the United States, with more than 450 stores nationwide and counting. Batteries Plus has a product line of over 30,000 different types of batteries, lightbulbs and other power accessories, which they sell in their retail stores and online.
2. The U.S. replacement battery market is a $24 billion industry, and is expected to reach $33.6 billion by 2012. The average US household has 21 different battery-operated devices, including laptop computers, MP3 players, cellular phones, digital cameras, and wheelchairs and other personal mobility devices like scooters and golf carts.
The U.S. light bulb replacement market is a $12 billion industry.
As previously mentioned, Batteries Plus sells its full line of products online and in more than 450 retail stores in the United States.
Each Batteries Plus store offers business-to-business (corporate) programs with benefits to qualified customers including delivery, open account billing, bulk purchasing efficiencies, and more.
Each store also has an on-site Tech Center where battery packs are analyzed, rebuilt, custom-designed, and assembled.
And finally, local franchisees benefit from national accounts secured by the corporate team at Batteries Plus.
4. Batteries Plus has one of the most comprehensive training programs in the business, consisting of 3 weeks of training at the company’s Quest Training Center and a field commercial sales training program. Two additional weeks of field training are conducted in the franchisee’s own location. Among the topics discussed during training are batteries, light bulbs, related products, services, sales, operations, and more.
5. The company’s centralized warehouse distribution center enables small minimum order requirements, consolidated shipments, and high in-stock levels.
6. In an independent survey of more than 10,000 franchisees conducted by Franchise Business Review, Batteries Plus ranked 22nd in terms of franchisee satisfaction in the large system category, and 4th in the retail category.
What I Don’t Like about the Batteries Plus Franchise Opportunity
1. I’m concerned about the amount of inventory needed to adequately stock a specialty, niche retailer like Batteries Plus. Since the franchise is known for its extensive selection of batteries, customers expect to find all the batteries that they need in a single location. This means that each store must carry a huge selection of batteries, even if most of the sales come from just a small percentage of the entire product line.
I can’t help but wonder if this type of product is better suited to be sold completely online. A retail store depends on repeat business to thrive, but I think most customers will need to visit a Batteries Plus store just once or twice a year, if that.
I’d feel more comfortable about the business model if I knew how much revenues they generate from the Tech Center. If this is a strong profit center for Batteries Plus, then I would say having a retail location would be worth it.