Inside the History of Batteries Plus: Celebrating Over Three Decades of Resiliency

The History of Batteries Plus Franchise

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For 34 years, Batteries Plus has been offering expert solutions to customers across North America. Through several recessions and the COVID-19 pandemic, it remained an essential business, and demand is only growing.

From humble, midwestern beginnings to nationwide expansion, we’re taking a look back at how far Batteries Plus has come on its mission to help its loyal customers Power It. Light It. Fix It.

From A Single Store to A Growing Franchise

It was 1988 when the first Batteries Plus opened in Green Bay, Wisconsin with a simple goal: to serve customers’ needs with a combination of quality products and superior technical knowledge. The first store offered only batteries, including specialty ones that were difficult to find elsewhere.

After four years in business, Batteries Plus started franchising, with husband-and-wife duo Dan and Susan Manwaring opening the first franchise location in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Today, they own 16 Batteries Plus locations.

Batteries Plus employee holding a laptop with a colleague

15 Years’ Worth of Milestones

In 1998, the brand celebrated its 10th anniversary. By this time, it had grown into nearly 100 stores! To prepare for continued expansion, Batteries Plus opened its corporate headquarters in Hartland, Wisconsin.

Five years later, the brand launched Ascent Battery Supply as its logistics and supply chain division. This greatly simplified the ordering process for franchisees and gave them buying power that resulted in better pricing on their inventory and better profit margins.

Expanding Products and Services

In 2010, after surpassing 500 stores and with a growing number of consumers switching to LED products, Batteries Plus identified the need for expertise in the lighting and LED space and introduced light bulbs to its product line across the country. As a $118.3 billion industry, this opened the door to serve more business clients as they updated their spaces.

In 2014, as batteries became embedded into smartphones and tablets, the franchise began offering smartphone and tablet repair services, an industry valued at $3.9 billion. Within two years, device repair rose to the company’s third top category. 

Launched in 2017, key fob cutting, programming and replacements were added, adding another line of essential products to the mix, with an industry value of $4.82 Billion.

The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) launched the Wireless Industry Service Excellence (WISE) Technician Certification Program in 2019. This in-depth training was created to help consumers identify qualified device repair service providers, and Batteries Plus became the first retailer to be recognized as it began certifying all of its repair technicians.

Batteries Plus employee checking the batteries on the shelf

Rebranding, Recognition and the Road Ahead

During a record-breaking 2021, the company launched Project Volt, a major rebranding effort that updated store layout and signage to create a smaller footprint and a more seamless customer experience. Batteries Plus also became the first retail partner of Samsung’s Independent Service Provider program and rolled out their new tagline- Power It. Light It. Fix It.

Each year continues to see record-breaking growth, as the brand’s resilient model, speciality product line and top-quality services shine through.

Over the years, the brand has received widespread recognition, including ranking in the Entrepreneur 500 for 28 consecutive years, Franchise Times’ Top Franchise Systems for 12 consecutive years, Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises for Veterans for 9 consecutive years and the Inc. 5000 of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 8 consecutive years.

With average sales of over $1 million in the top 75% of locations, Batteries Plus will continue expanding into new territories. The growing $652 billion combined markets ensure that their essential products and services will continue to pull them through economic uncertainty and give franchisees an investment they can count on.

Looking for a resilient retail franchise opportunity with 365 degree support? Contact us today to learn more about opening a Batteries Plus in your area!


*The $1,005,700 in average net revenue is based on net sales information of 423 Batteries Plus® stores in the top 75% of the 564 Batteries Plus® stores in operation during the entire 2021 calendar year. Of the 423 stores, 157 stores (37%) met or exceeded the average net revenue. The average net revenue of the 423 Batteries Plus® stores in the bottom 75% of the 564 Batteries Plus® stores in operation during the entire 2021 calendar year was $663,482. Of these 423 stores, 202 (48%) met or exceeded the average net revenue.

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