Rozon Batteries is a family-owned business founded by Robert Rozon almost 50 years ago. Under the management of his sons, Paul and Luc Rozon, Batteries Expert gained rapid success as a franchise banner but with the time passing, the business has been passed on to the third generation of the Rozon family, Joel and Elise Rozon, the young and dynamic leadership that plans to take this family business and its legacy to the next level, offering the company’s expertise to the broader Canadian public.
Today, Rozon Batteries operates two business divisions, Transcanada Energies that focuses on B2B battery supply, and Batteries Expert franchises that focus on B2C battery product transactions. The company is also a well-known industry pioneer. Luc Rozon is the inventor of the original Booster Pac (portable car battery booster, a product that’s widespread in the market today), and the company has been on top of all trends in its battery niche, for example offering customers and clients solar-powered batteries since 1994, at the time when thinking about the opportunities in the solar power technology were defined by the solar powered calculators.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Elise Rozon, General Manager, about the company, its commitment to the battery market, and the plan to aggressively expand in Ontario and seeking opportunities in other provinces.
“We started under Rozon Batteries in 1964, focusing on battery repairs and battery distribution. In 1996 we launched Batteries Expert division, focusing on automotive, commercial and marine batteries. The expansion and demand went on, and our battery lines continued to grow and grow because we had customers coming in with demands, and today we offer batteries for computers, cellphones, and any battery-powered device you can think off.”
Batteries Expert retails traditional as well as “clean and green” alternative battery products for about every industrial, commercial and consumer use.
Company’s products include small and large appliance and equipment batteries, computer, PDA and cell phone batteries, automotive, heavy equipment, ATV and motorcycle batteries, and solar- and wind-powered batteries. This comprehensive inventory of battery products makes Batteries Expert the undisputed leader in Canada’s battery market.
As to the battery products, Rozon says that low-cost products are not at the centre of the company’s focus. “We find that low-cost products generally make people very unhappy. When we seek out new products, we are not focusing solely on price, but we also seek service and quality. So when a customer enters our store, they receive excellent service and expert advice, as well as options as to the price but also performance. Our stores offer advice as well as installation of the product,” says Rozon.
To offer this vast array of battery products, Rozon Batteries works closely with suppliers to stay atop of the industries’ trends. The company visits all major tradeshows related to new electronic devices, looking at new technologies and batteries coming into the market as well as technologies on their way out. “What is a bit different in our business is the fact that, for example, a new model car battery can last for up to five years, so there is enough time between the device release and the need for battery replacement. But we do need to stay atop of the current technologies so we know what’s in the wings, and to remain competitive,” says Rozon.
Batteries Expert leads the charge when it comes to the franchise industry, with a unique franchising opportunity and a strong upside for the franchisees. The company’s business niche offers franchisees a rare, recession-proof franchise opportunity, because the battery business stands well clear of economic downturns, as industries and retail customers always prefer to change or repair batteries rather than replacing the product completely. The eco-friendly trends also affect the industry, but Transcanada Batteries and Batteries Expert™ are well-positioned to respond to both of these business realities.
Developing its Batteries Expert brand further, in 2002 the company created its own brand and franchise concept carried by the company franchisees, creating a unified look of the franchises. “Our goal was to create a look that would be easily recognized by the customers, as well as offering a structure within the store for the customer. A structure you find in other stores where you automatically know where to find the product you are looking for. All of our locations underwent the renovation to our new standards,” says Rozon.
With some 75 franchised stores in Quebec, Batteries Expert is a well-respected brand and Canada’s premier battery and alternative energy retailer, and the company has a high-powered expansion plan, looking at the expansion in the rest of Canada. The company has already undertaken the first wave of its Ontario expansion, opening 11 Batteries Expert stores in the province, and the plan is to add additional stores in the future, and take on opportunities across the Canadian market.
Rozon disclosed that the company’s Batteries Expert has been the centre of focus, but once the Ontario expansion plan starts moving forward, the company plans to start refocusing, and seeking to increase the number of customers in its Transcanada Batteries, Rozon Batteries’ B2B division. “Our Batteries Expert franchisees also supply businesses, so we have to be careful when expanding this niche. We want to grow this division but without infringing on our existing franchisees’ business,” says Rozon.