5 Questions for Dean Johnson at Batteries Plus Bulbs

Dean johnson.jpg
Dean Johnson, assistant manager at Batteries Plus Bulbs. (submitted photo)

For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Dean Johnson, assistant manager at Batteries Plus Bulbs, located at 2501 South Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

Q: There's quite a lot you do in the store, can you give us a rundown on your services and what you see a lot of in the store?

A: We provide device repair for cell phones, car battery installs, free battery testing, key fob programming, key cutting for vehicles and we rebuild drill packs. Probably, especially around this time of the year, car batteries, of course. And another thing that we really see, pretty much any time of the year, is phone repair. Screen replacements, battery replacements. I mean, those are probably the two biggest things right there.

Q: Winter can be tough on batteries of all kinds. What can people do to cake care batteries for their different devices/cars/ phones etc. during the winter?

A: A charged lead acid battery (car batteries and sealed lead acid batteries) will never freeze, but letting your vehicle sit in the cold for weeks at a time while the battery discharges itself is not good for them. Lithium batteries (cell phone batteries and modern household devices) should go through a full cycle from full charge to full discharge, to get the most out of them.


Q: What is something people might not know about Batteries + Bulbs, but should?

A: We don't just carry car batteries, we also carry batteries for household devices as well as lighting. You can do online appointments for your phones instead of, you know, just bringing them in. That way, it kind of guarantees you a spot. I mean, it doesn't guarantee the customer, you know, ahead of everyone else, but it guarantees that we're going to hold a spot and the item for them. And usually it gives them like $10 off if they do it online.

Q: Your shop offers business services, as well. What does that entail and how can a business benefit from having an account? What are they for?

A: We offer bulk pricing, site visits, free in-town delivery, accounts receivable, business to business program and discounts on everything in the store. Tons of benefits, really. We have a dedicated commercial representative, a list of what they use most with pricing and lighting brightness measurements, lighting energy audits after a site visit. Really, we want to be a one-stop shop for maintaining your commercial properties.

Q: What is the most unusual battery or bulb your store has replaced?

A: Nothing unusual, really, but you'd be surprised at the age of some of the devices that come in needing new batteries or bulbs. A good example is I had a customer just last week that was looking for a camcorder battery, an old camcorder from probably the '90s or early ’90s or something like that. And of course, I mean, we've seen things that are even older than that. I've had old cell phones, some of the old phones from all the way back to the late ’80s, and early ’90s, I've had people come looking for batteries. They're obsolete. I mean, I can't even get them anymore.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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