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Battery and bulb retailer expands to Capital Region

Battery and bulb retailer expands to Capital Region

New store in Niskayuna is diversified well beyond what its name suggests
Battery and bulb retailer expands to Capital Region
A typical retail location of Batteries Plus Bulbs is shown
Photographer: Photo provided

NISKAYUNA — You can probably guess what’s in stock at the latest national retail chain to set up shop in the Capital Region …

Batteries Plus Bulbs will make its area debut Monday at Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna with one of the most specialized product lines of any retailer. Each store has more than 2,000 types and models of bulbs and batteries on its shelves, and thousands more available from its website.

Derek Siddons, vice president of field operations for the Wisconsin-based company, said retail sales of batteries and bulbs to consumers is only one-third of the business model. Equally important are service (such as repair of mobile devices or programming of key fobs) and business-to-business sales.

The Niskayuna store will be corporate-owned, as will the next two stores to open in this area — one in Latham this spring and one on Wolf Road this summer. Only 84 of the 740 Batteries Plus Bulbs locations nationwide are corporate stores; the rest are owned and operated by franchisees. The company is pitching franchise opportunities in New York and nearby states, and hopes franchisees will open three more stores in the Capital Region.

“We believe that market can hold six stores,” Siddons said of the greater Albany area, which he said is a strong market because of a large concentration of businesses and residents, and a good median income.

Batteries Plus Bulbs has an extensive working relationship with Duracell. About a third of the batteries stocked in the stores and an even greater percentage of the bulbs are made by the national manufacturer and bear its name. Various aftermarket companies manufacture the bulbs and batteries that Duracell does not.

All are certified and warrantied by the retailer, regardless of manufacturer, Siddons said.

The biggest revenue stream for the company is motor vehicle batteries, he said, followed by repair of smartphones and other mobile devices.

Replacement key fob/smart key programming is a fairly new service for Batteries Plus Bulbs, Siddons said, but it has proved popular, because it usually offers a substantial savings over the original manufacturer’s replacements.

The company name notwithstanding, Siddons said, “We are very diversified.”

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