By LOIS KINDLE
If you haven’t checked out the new Batteries Plus at 761 Cortaro Drive, Sun City Center, you will after reading this story. The 1,400-square-foot store carries almost every type of battery known to man, including those for watches, cell phones, vehicles, golf carts, power chairs and boats. But what may surprise you is its in-store inventory also includes Valeo wiper blades, all kinds of energy-efficient CFL, LED, halogen, fluorescent and SMART light bulbs, fuses, car keys and key fobs, chargers, power cords, flashlights and more.
It also offers recycling for your used batteries and light bulbs, free battery and electrical system testing and free wiper blade installation. Existing car key fobs can be tested in store to ensure they’re putting out strong signals, and there is always someone in the store who can fix a cell phone. Three of its employees are Level 2, WISE-certified by the industry to do repairs.
Perhaps even more surprising is its personnel are trained to install many of these products and make certified repairs on major brands of cell phones and tablets.
To fully appreciate all that Batteries Plus offers, you really need to visit the store or its website at https://bit.ly/3b5eElI. Orders can be made online and then picked up curbside through its touchless service.
The Sun City Center store is one of eight in a four-county area owned by Rich Epps, who opened this latest location last fall (mid-October). His other stores are located in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Largo and northeast Tampa. According to Epps, this Batteries Plus franchise is one of the top 10 in size and sales in the country.
“I felt Sun City Center and the area surrounding it combined a well-established, stable community and other areas of exponential growth,” Epps said. “We saw a great need here for our essential products and services.”
Those products, services and competitive pricing, plus an intentional focus on outstanding customer service are sure to appeal to South Shore area shoppers.
“The difference with us is that customers can come in and actually find a salesperson who thoroughly knows our products and is willing to interact with them,” Epps said.
Beyond that, he and store manager Don Novak want the Sun City Center store to reflect the needs and values of the communities it serves.
“We want to provide old-fashioned, over-the-top, hometown service that includes remembering people’s names and doing the unexpected,” said Novak, a resident of Apollo Beach. “If for some reason customers can’t come to us, we’ll go to them, even if it’s for a set of batteries. We also rebuild power packs for all kinds of power tools.”
“I live, work and hang out at the same places as my customers,” Novak continued. “We want people to be surprised at how willing we are to help.
Batteries Plus offers people the opportunity to bring in their golf carts once a month to have the tires and batteries checked and water topped off. If you lose your car keys, a new fob can be made with a VIN number and proof of ownership. And there’s even a car sanitation service for $29.99 that removes the smell of smoke from a vehicle.
All of its Duracell brand LED bulbs are guaranteed for five years, and if you buy a package and even one bulb goes bad during that time, the entire package will be replaced. All customers need do is return the bad bulb.
Batteries Plus also offers in-house business accounts, which include discounts for high volume purchasing; free battery testing, on-site needs assessment and free delivery on large orders; a dedicated adviser; recycling services and more.
Since both the owner and manager served in the military, they offer a 10% discount to all veterans.
“We’re happy to be in Sun City Center,” Epps said. “The reaction from the community exceeded our expectations and has been so supportive. Every day people tell us how glad they are that we are here. They’ve made us feel at home.”
Current hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The store is located in the same plaza as Optum health care at the south corner of the L-shaped building.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3b5eElI or call 813-819-2727.