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Batteries Plus Bulbs launching Baltimore area expansion

Batteries Plus Bulbs, a franchise retailer specializing in hard-to-find batteries, is expanding in the Baltimore area with stores in Laurel and Annapolis.

A store opened Monday in Laurel, with another expected to open in June in Annapolis. The stores also sell light bulbs and offer smartphone and tablet repair services, including battery replacements.

The company already in Columbia, Timonium, Reisterstown, Rockville and Upper Marlboro and said it envisions at least seven more stores in areas such as Catonsville, Glen Burnie, College Park and White Marsh.

Customers seek out the retailer for specialty and replacement batteries they won’t find at other stores, for anything from home security systems to hearing aids to fitness trackers, said Rod Tremelling, director of franchise development.

“They come in out of frustration,” he said. “Consumers make the investment [in technology], then the batteries fail, and where can you go to get a replacement? We’re leveraging that and we see the opportunity.”

The Laurel store, at 915 Washington Blvd., is being run by franchisee Mike Schall, a retired Navy veteran, while Dr. Sherman Malone, a disabled Air Force veteran from Bowie, is finalizing a lease in Annapolis.

The company, owned by private equity firm Freeman Spogli, opened its first store in 1988 in Wisconsin and began franchising in 1992.

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