When the doors swung open to Matt Fulford's flagship Belmont store (WA) he knew he was on track to achieving a dream he set in 2015 when he bought his first Battery World store.
The young entrepreneur had a vision to open five stores in the best time frame possible and while he is still basking in the success of opening his new look store – he is already talking about opportunities in South Perth - store number five.
“I love this store,” Fulford says. “The light, the new features, the space – there is so much that makes this an interesting: light and bright store to be in. To me it is like we have taken all the best features of our other three stores and put them into one.”
While not a traditional Battery World space, the new Belmont store is part of an office complex, but with plenty of room out the back to change tyres and work on the bigger projects of dual battery and caravan systems, there is no shortage of space.
“Everyone in real estate and retail talks about location,” Fulford says. “And this shop has it in spades. The street frontage is one of the biggest in the network and the busy road give us plenty of exposure.”
Matt, 28, joined the team buying a very successful store in Maddington, which added to the newbie’s stress.
“There was so much to learn: so many batteries I never imagined, for so many products,” he said. “We were mindful to not drop the ball and keep up the store’s good reputation with customers. It terrified me: I had never so much as bought a car battery before. I was pretty much your AA or AAA battery buyer.”
Matt then added Welshpool to his portfolio and Canning Vale followed: Battery World’s 100th store.
“With its roots in Queensland, Battery World has continued to grow and develop customer awareness not only here in the west but nationally,” Fulford says. “Every day you can feel that brand awareness growing.
“I almost have to cover up my shirt when I rush into Woolies or Officeworks because people stop me and ask me about batteries for this or batteries for that. It seems everyone has a burning battery question. I love it and I love it that the brand is developing so well that more and more people recognise our purple ‘power’.”
And he says while he is the man on the title deed – it is all team work: he knows without good staff – there would be no success.
“It is a very much a team: it starts with my relationship with the franchisor and then it is very much the people who work here, he says. “Customer service and knowledge about all sorts of batteries and their application is critical to our success as Batteryologists.
“Anyone can buy a battery from anywhere, but we offer genuine and good advice. If this is all you can afford now that’s fine, but we can look people in the eye and honestly tell them ‘that battery might only do you two years, where as this one will go for three or four’. It is then up to them to make a decision fully informed of function, cost and warranty. That is something the internet cannot do for you.”