Batteries Included: Retail battery franchise opens Sycamore location
October 3, 2008 - By Dana Herra
SYCAMORE - Scott Lunnon wants locals to know the phrase, "batteries not included," need no longer spark a sense of dread.
Lunnon, owner of two Batteries Plus franchises in Rockford, opened a Sycamore location Monday. The nationwide retail chain carries thousands of batteries, ranging from the tiny, like watch batteries, to the massive, like those that power airplanes.
"It's a part of the portable world we live in. Everything takes batteries," Lunnon said. "You could probably count 50 to 60 things in your home that take batteries without even having to think about it."
Batteries Plus has approximately 8,000-10,000 products available through its warehouse, field consultant Pat Pherson said, and an individual store typically carries between 1,000 and 2,500. Top sellers include batteries for laptop computers, cell phones and cordless phones, he said. Batteries for electric mobility scooters, home security systems and motorcycles are also big business, he said.
"Most people think we just have one or two segments and are surprised to come in and find we have everything," Lunnon said. "We carry the common batteries and the ones you wouldn't even think of until you need one."
Lunnon worked for one of Batteries Plus' 18 corporate stores, then bought the store about six years ago, he said. He's one of about 150 franchisees that operate 340 Batteries Plus stores nationwide, Pherson said.
Batteries Plus is a relatively young franchise business, Pherson said. The first store opened in Green Bay, Wis., in 1988. It now claims to be the largest and most comprehensive chain focused on the battery category, according to its Web site. Lunnon said rechargeable battery packs for items like cordless tools can also be rebuilt by the company.
The new store also offers a new place to take old batteries. The store will accept all kinds of spent batteries for recycling, as well as old handheld electronics like cell phones, MP3 players and personal digital assistants.
"The company is very green. The recycling program is big for us," Pherson said.
Lunnon said he liked the Sycamore community and had noticed his Rockford stores got a lot of commercial business from DeKalb County businesses. He had been watching the market for nearly four years before deciding this year the city had grown enough to support a store, he said.
"I just really liked it, and finally decided it was big enough for a Batteries Plus store," he said.
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