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Batteries Plus Bulbs banks on device repair

Specialty retailer Batteries Plus Bulbs is doubling down on its existing device repair business with plans to have the service in more than 650 stores by yearend.

Since August of last year, device repair was being tested in 40 markets nationwide and had grown to 275 stores, however the popularity of the service among consumers combined with the surging popularity of smartphones, iPods, tablets and other devices prompted the decision to expand the service to all stores, according to the company.

The opportunity is sizable, and increasingly competitive with Radioshack experimenting with repair service, as approximately 160 million people in the U.S. own smartphones and the cell phone repair industry is projected to hit more than $1 billion in revenue this year, according to the company.

The move is the latest growth initiative from a company that last year rebranded to Batteries Plus Bulbs from the Batteries Plus name to better reflect changes in product assortment. In 2008, the company began offering an expanded selection of light bulbs and today a total of 45,000 batteries, light bulbs and related products are sold at its network of stores. Founded in 1988, the company is currently transitioning all stores over to the Batteries Plus Bulbs identity.

Batteries Plus Bulbs is owned by Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm that invests primarily in consumer and business services companies. Some of the firm’s portfolio companies include, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, FASTSIGNS, Massage Envy, Arby’s and Auntie Anne’s
 

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