For Rich Epps, being able to run his own business was always a dream.
Working for a big-box home improvement retailer always gave Rich the feeling he wasn’t able to manage the way he wanted.
When the corporate leadership changed, Rich found himself with a generous severance package and a newfound opportunity for business ownership with Batteries Plus.
The Appeal of Learning Store Management
Rich started his career with Lowe’s as a part-time employee and was eventually recruited to join a management program Lowe’s offered to provide promising employees with growth opportunities.
“Lowe’s had a push to attract college grads,” Rich explained. “I had the chance to run the flagship store, got exposure to the corporate team, testing new products and helping out with commercials.”
Rich eventually became the district manager in South Carolina and was asked to move to Florida to take over a struggling Lowe’s district. However, even as a store or district manager, he felt hindered by the corporate structure.
“Although I was always intrigued by the thought of running my own store, I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to successfully operate the store,” said Rich. “I felt like I was managing with one arm tied behind my back.”
Going Down a New Path to Business Ownership
A new CEO resulted in a change in company leadership, leaving Rich with a healthy severance package and the opportunity to start researching franchise opportunities. Rich immediately looked into Batteries Plus because not only was it in his retail wheelhouse, but it had similar products to Lowe’s and gave him the chance to run more than one location.
Before deciding to take the full plunge into business ownership, Rich reached out to Steve Cooper, one of the first Batteries Plus franchisees, to discuss a district manager role overseeing Steve’s seven locations.
“The conversation eventually morphed into me buying the stores,” explained Rich. “Initially, I bought two stores over a couple of months, but then Steve approached me to buy the other five.”