For about 2 years, Batteries Plus searched for space in which to open a store in Maricopa.
The company wanted something along John Wayne Parkway for its high traffic volume. Accordingly, commercial space is tight along the high-demand thoroughfare.
Finally, something came open and the company, which carries not only batteries of every description but also an array of light bulbs and performs technical repairs on items like cellphones and tablets, jumped at it.
The store opened in late January at 20928 N. John Wayne Pkwy., Suite C9, the 23rd Batteries Plus franchise owned by the Cobblestone Group.
The official grand opening is Friday, Feb. 17, on National Battery Day, and Saturday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Ribbon cutting is noon Friday. Batteries Plus will provide AA battery packs and light refreshments, and give away T-shirts. A Champion 3500W remote-start generator will be given away in a drawing.
“When we were looking for places to open stores in Arizona, Maricopa came on the radar,” said Steve Mastin, chief operating officer of Cobblestone Group and a Gilbert resident whose family has been in the area for a century. “I had no idea how quickly this place had grown in the last couple of decades. In my opinion, we really lucked out on the location because it used to be a device-repair place.
“When I had the keys handed over from the landlady, there were a couple of people there asking when we we’re going to be reopening. They thought we were just reopening the old device-repair place.”
Mastin, who has been with the company since 1996, “before cellphones and laptops were a thing,” has hired four full-time employees, three from Maricopa and the fourth from the chain’s Casa Grande store.
As it made plans to come to Maricopa, the company encountered two familiar problems: availability of space and pricing.
The traffic on John Wayne Parkway through the city caught the company’s eye. Finding something in that high-demand area and in the size the company sought took some time, according to Mastin.
“We knew we wanted to be somewhere along the 347, that was the big thing,” he said. “Just the few times I’ve been there it was amazing to see all that traffic, and especially just in that center where we are with the Bashas’ and the fast-food restaurants in there, too. It’s very busy.
“So, we didn’t want to be too small. We wanted to be able to grow some, but we also don’t need 4,000 square feet.”
The shop is about 1,400 square feet at pricing that is “not too bad,” he said.
“It’s a little higher than some of our other locations but it’s also in a very unique position with the traffic, so it makes sense,” Mastin said. “It would have given us pause if we didn’t see this as a hot market for our specific thing we’re doing.”
Batteries Plus provides automotive services, such as free car-battery testing and installation on most vehicles, as well as techniques to keep cellphone, key fob, laptop and tablet batteries lasting longer and operating more efficiently.
Batteries Plus technicians all are Wireless Industry Service Excellence certified.
Each staff member is trained in top brands and operating systems of devices, including phone repair for broken and cracked screens. They may also be able to repair hearing aids and medical devices like infusion pumps, monitors and carts on wheels. Technicians also provide services for lighting and fixtures.
“We have a lot of techie stuff,” Mastin said. “In the back of the house we have work benches, very specific to your device repair, and safety stuff.”
And, as the name suggests, there are batteries of every imaginable use: automotive, ATV, motorcycle, marine and golf carts, as well as chargers, cell phone batteries, phone essentials, SLA batteries, alkaline batteries and generators.
Beyond the common AA and AAA batteries, the store carries AAAA, a one-third AA, half AA and M batteries, which look like three D batteries put together, that are used in mining equipment. If a customer needs a small battery the size of a quarter, there is a two-foot section full of them in various thicknesses.
“When I started, there was my car battery and AA batteries for my TV remote. That was it,” Mastin said. “We’ve grown into a lot of services. Programming of key fobs for vehicles became a very big thing we got into a few years ago.
“Now, it’s very much a problem-solving thing. I love people coming in with problems. We might have to solder a wire or research a battery. We’ve got welders to make a battery pack if we need to, so it’s a pretty unique, fun thing as an employee. You’ve got to have some of that fix-it, tech knowledge.”
More information: 520-614-6634 or www.batteriesplus.com.