“We’re here to help our franchisees be successful,” says Jason Moss, director of real estate and acquisitions at Batteries Plus, of the scope of his role at the specialty retail chain. “We’re a franchise first-oriented team. Our franchisees are what drive us; without them we won’t have success.”
Since the company started opening franchises in 1992, Batteries Plus has expanded to approximately 700 locations nationwide collaborating with about 300 private franchisees. The mission of Moss and his team is to ensure that those franchisees are taken care of with site selection, store build-out, equipment, product, and furnishings that will meet their needs and support their small businesses.
Moss graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in business. He started his career as an entrepreneur, building his own residential and commercial restoration company in Utah. Meanwhile, he got into property management and real estate ventures before returning to school for his MBA at the University of Utah in 2018.
Moss’s MBA has a focus in data analytics which, matched with his background in real estate and property management, made him the ideal candidate for Batteries Plus when he was hired as a real estate manager in November of 2019. “Batteries Plus was looking to better use data when making decisions about real estate,” Moss remembers. “They wanted to better understand the unique characteristics of successful Batteries Plus retail trade areas. I was in a unique position to help with exactly that.”
The new role prompted Moss and his family to move to Wisconsin, where Batteries Plus is headquartered, and he set to work implementing new GIS analytics tools to help develop a database of location factors that were valuable to Batteries Plus. “We looked at our most successful, high-performing stores and determined which real estate and site characteristics they share,” Moss explains. His team then ensures that new franchisees and brokers understand and use this data when selecting store locations.
“Working with eSite Analytics, we identified psychographic and demographic key indicators. We looked at mobility data as part of our real estate site selection process to decide what are viable and ideal locations for our stores,” the real estate director adds.
To streamline the process between signing new franchisees and opening their new stores, Moss’s team often works with 12-month lead times to guarantee access to all the furnishings, fixtures, and equipment and ensure all the stores will be fully stocked with Batteries Plus products by opening day. The whole process has an ambitious target deadline—six months from the date that franchise agreement is signed, Moss says. “Being able to get ahead of the supply chain problems has been essential in our success in opening stores.”
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has made these factors even more delicate, Moss says candidly. “There’s been an increase in demand, but not necessarily an increase in supply. Many of our vendors’ warehouses are still facing challenges of staffing and access to raw materials, delaying fulfillment, and we have had to work around that.”
The company recently underwent a brand refresh, changing from its former name, “Batteries Plus Bulbs,” to the simpler, more inclusive Batteries Plus. This came along with new marketing and brand elements that needed to be updated in each of the franchise locations. The refresh has been an exciting project for Moss and his team, giving them the opportunity to work more closely with many of the other departments at the company.
But perhaps most rewarding to Moss is working with franchisees beyond their first locations. “Working with franchisees who are opening their second, fifth, or even tenth location is exciting. It demonstrates their confidence in the brand and our process.” Batteries Plus is expecting to open more than 50 franchise locations next year. About the surge in openings, Moss says, “We are planning to open at least one store every week next year and more than half of those will be with existing franchisees opening their next location. It’s incredible to be a part of the growth.”
Moss attributes his success to his family; he says they are always at the heart of his motivation. He advocates for a healthy work/life balance and stresses the importance of prioritizing family whenever he can. “I equate spending quality time with my family to making deposits in the bank; daily deposits will build a strong family relationship,” Moss says. “You have hard days at work, you have hard days in life, and being able to go home and have a family that is happy to have you there and is proud of you is powerfully motivating.”