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“As disruption abounds in the retail industry, Batteries Plus Bulbs is a case study in differentiation, offering customers access to products for which they cannot wait – products critical to their business operation or daily routine. While the status quo asks for patience, Batteries Plus Bulbs embraces customers’ need for immediacy.”

Jeff French, Grant Thornton

Trust the Plus

A student drops and cracks her phone as she’s packing up her car for a long drive to college. A fireman notices that several light bulbs on his truck aren’t functioning properly. Often life’s circumstances require instantaneous access to specific products and specialized services; tomorrow just won’t do. If the need is for a battery, a light bulb, key fob programming, key cutting, or repair services for a phone or tablet, Batteries Plus Bulbs has you covered.

Hartland, Wisconsin-based Batteries Plus Bulbs was founded in Green Bay in 1988 and has since grown to become the US’ only battery, light bulb, and phone repair franchise. Annually, it provides nearly 14 million commercial customers and consumers in 47 states and Puerto Rico with rapid access to an unrivaled selection of diverse products for everything from lawn tractors to key fobs. Its customers “trust the Plus” to have what they need when they need it. And Batteries Plus Bulbs has the inventory to deliver on demand, as evidenced by the fact that 96% of its e-commerce orders are for in store pick-up.

Notable data

32 billion battery industry
22 billion light bulb industry
4 billion phone and tablet repair industry
2 billion replacement key industry

An inventory to support innovation

The average US household has 28 battery powered devices and 61 light bulb sockets. Those numbers will rise in direct relationship with technology advances and the Cambrian-like device explosion promised by the internet of things.

Batteries Plus Bulbs is well-positioned to capitalize as it has been focused on anticipating customer needs and market trajectory since its inception. Initially focused only on batteries, the company expanded its offerings to include light bulbs in 2010 and incepted repair services for phones and tablets in 2014. It rebranded its in-store repair service “We Fix It” centers in early 2017, a business that grew 42% last year and is now Batteries Plus Bulbs’ second largest category.

Customer intimacy at scale

To meet its customers’ need for immediate access to a diverse selection of products, Private Equity-backed Batteries Plus Bulbs needs to operate at scale, but with a localized, customer intimate experience distinct from other national retailers. The company does both, as local franchisees and the organization’s nearly 70 company-run stores provide highly regarded customer services as store count accelerates (33 store opens planned in 2018).
Its store and revenue growth makes Batteries Plus Bulbs’ a desirable franchise opportunity for would-be business owners, as does the integrated support it provides, from real estate to IT to marketing, the company is known for its close collaboration with its franchisees. For this reason the company is a fixture in prominent industry publications like Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500, where it has appeared for 19 consecutive years, and Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies (7 years running).

Batteries Plus Bulbs, with its commitment to innovation and the speed and agility with which it meets its customers’ needs, is emblematic of the type of business Grant Thornton exists to serve and we are proud to be its audit provider.

“Batteries Plus Bulbs’ customers have a wide array of very specific needs and those needs must be met right away. That’s the service we seek to deliver and we want our providers to demonstrate that level of agility in serving us. Grant Thornton excels in that regard, combining high quality work with the proactivity and sense of urgency for which they are known.”

Craig Cooper, Chief Financial Officer, Batteries Plus Bulbs

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