Ann Arbor Area BUSINESS MONTHLY magazine brings the reader the latest business news and information important to the businesspeople in Washtenaw County. Each month articles cover real estate, legal, Internet, employee concerns and the climate of business in the greater Ann Arbor area. There is news about company employees and feature articles on local businesses. We cover business news from Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, and Ypsilanti.
By Duane Ramsey
Batteries Plus in Ann Arbor continues to expand its business despite the current economic conditions, according to owner Krishna Mallya.
“We have grown by double digits every year since 2005 despite the poor economy,” said Mallya, who purchased the Ann Arbor store that year from the previous owners who opened the business in 2001. Batteries Plus, a national franchise business, operates more than 400 battery retail locations in 43 states and Puerto Rico.
Photo at left: Krishna Mallya, Owner of Batteries Plus
The battery retail stores offer more than 40,000 quality products and services for home, business, and personal use.
The chain sells everything from common AA and 9-volt batteries to hard-to-find specialty batteries for technical equipment and motor vehicles. The stores stock batteries for computers, camcorders, cell and cordless phones and tools, digital cameras, exit and security signs, two-way radios, scanners, as well as cars, motorcycles and trucks.
Mallya said the local store carries 1,200 different kinds of batteries in stock for consumers and commercial customers.
About 50 to 55 percent of the store's business is comprised of retail sales while the other 45 to 50 percent is in commercial sales and service, according to Mallya.
"It's a very good balance of business that has allowed us to continue to grow each year," said Mallya. The store has doubled the number of employees from three to six since he purchased it in 2005.
The Batteries Plus store located at 3120 Packard Road includes an on-site tech center where battery packs are analyzed, rebuilt, custom-designed and assembled. We rebuild a lot of batteries for power tools, said Mallya.
"The Tech Center really sets us apart from other retail stores selling batteries," said Tony Pacheco, manager of Batteries Plus in Ann Arbor. "We help people to save 30 to 50 percent on rebuilt batteries rather than buying new." As part of the Batteries Plus franchise, the local store recycles spent batteries to help protect the environment.
"We support proper disposal and recycling efforts to reduce waste and preserve natural resources," said Pacheco. The life of a rechargeable battery operating in normal conditions runs from 500 to 600 recharging cycles that translates into one and a half to three years for the average user.
Batteries Plus offers business-to-business programs with benefits including delivery, bulk purchasing, open account billing and other options. Mallya said the local store specializes in selling and servicing batteries for computer back-up and medical carts to businesses, hospitals and universities. Mallya previously worked as a consultant in the energy business and traveled extensively. He took advantage of an opportunity to own and operate his own business and travel less when he purchased it in 2005.
He attended a training program at the Batteries Plus corporate location in Wisconsin to learn the business.
Mallya is looking to open a second store in the Toledo area later this year since he does business with the University of Toledo and three Mercy hospitals in that area. He is working with the franchisor for a retail location in Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania or Toledo.