2011 Auto Chain Product Study: Battery Chargers

Jan. 1, 2020
"Everybody is a potential customer for a battery charger," declares Wayne Marsh, vice president of store operations at Brooks Auto Parts, Inc., based in Douglas, Ga.

“Everybody is a potential customer for a battery charger,” declares Wayne Marsh, vice president of store operations at Brooks Auto Parts, Inc., based in Douglas, Ga. “Selection and display are your biggest things, plus an outside sales force and keeping your eyes open,” he says.

When advertising flyers are distributed, “we make sure we promote the battery charger,” says Marsh, “and we sell by quality; we’re a NAPA jobber – no need to say more,” Marsh asserts.

“You put your battery chargers close to your batteries,” which is at the front of the store. At Brooks they use program group-proffered displays and “imagination” when assembling the collection of products, Marsh says.

“You can almost sell a charger with every power sport battery you sell; they will sit all week or up to a month without being used” by recreational purchasers, Marsh says.

All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, will self-discharge over time, according to industry technical experts. The discharging rate depends on both the type of battery and the storage temperature.

In a partially discharged state, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery is subject to freezing. At a 40 percent state of charge, electrolyte will ice up if the temperature falls to around 16 degrees F. The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is minus-92 F.

PAGE 2

Having 50 stores in five states, Arnold Motor Supply of Spencer, Iowa launches a big charge behind its marketing efforts, especially when it comes to battery chargers designed for use by professional repairers. “We have 72 sales people out there,” says Dave Kimbell, the marketing manager.

“We have an equipment division that goes out and sells these as part of a shop overhaul,” he elaborates. “We have a full offering, so the customer has quite a selection depending upon their needs.”

The cost of given battery charger often dictates how well it will sell. “It’s price-sensitive on certain wheeled items; everything is price-sensitive today,” according to Kimbell.

Highlighting a particular product consistently attracts the attention of shop owners concerned about the bottom line. “We sell all one SKU for a week,” he reports. “We put it on ‘special.’ We reduce the price and put it on the street.”

When selling to installers, fall is the big sales season for Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc., based in Saint Cloud, Minn. “They update their existing equipment to the pulse charger,” reports retail merchandising director Mike Lichtenberg. “The conventional bench charger of old needs to be replaced.”

The equipment takes a severe beating as the mercury plummets. “They get used a lot during the fall and winter in the service shops,” Lichtenberg says. Not many are sold to retail customers, but booster devices are attracting increased attention among the motoring public: “They don’t need to charge the battery; they just need to get the car started.”

“Everybody is a potential customer for a battery charger,” declares Wayne Marsh, vice president of store operations at Brooks Auto Parts, Inc., based in Douglas, Ga. “Selection and display are your biggest things, plus an outside sales force and keeping your eyes open,” he says.

When advertising flyers are distributed, “we make sure we promote the battery charger,” says Marsh, “and we sell by quality; we’re a NAPA jobber – no need to say more,” Marsh asserts.

“You put your battery chargers close to your batteries,” which is at the front of the store. At Brooks they use program group-proffered displays and “imagination” when assembling the collection of products, Marsh says.

“You can almost sell a charger with every power sport battery you sell; they will sit all week or up to a month without being used” by recreational purchasers, Marsh says.

All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, will self-discharge over time, according to industry technical experts. The discharging rate depends on both the type of battery and the storage temperature.

In a partially discharged state, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery is subject to freezing. At a 40 percent state of charge, electrolyte will ice up if the temperature falls to around 16 degrees F. The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is minus-92 F.

PAGE 2

Having 50 stores in five states, Arnold Motor Supply of Spencer, Iowa launches a big charge behind its marketing efforts, especially when it comes to battery chargers designed for use by professional repairers. “We have 72 sales people out there,” says Dave Kimbell, the marketing manager.

“We have an equipment division that goes out and sells these as part of a shop overhaul,” he elaborates. “We have a full offering, so the customer has quite a selection depending upon their needs.”

The cost of given battery charger often dictates how well it will sell. “It’s price-sensitive on certain wheeled items; everything is price-sensitive today,” according to Kimbell.

Highlighting a particular product consistently attracts the attention of shop owners concerned about the bottom line. “We sell all one SKU for a week,” he reports. “We put it on ‘special.’ We reduce the price and put it on the street.”

When selling to installers, fall is the big sales season for Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc., based in Saint Cloud, Minn. “They update their existing equipment to the pulse charger,” reports retail merchandising director Mike Lichtenberg. “The conventional bench charger of old needs to be replaced.”

The equipment takes a severe beating as the mercury plummets. “They get used a lot during the fall and winter in the service shops,” Lichtenberg says. Not many are sold to retail customers, but booster devices are attracting increased attention among the motoring public: “They don’t need to charge the battery; they just need to get the car started.”

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