Batteries Plus, No. 19 on the Dun & Bradstreet AllBusiness AllStar Franchise rankings, connects to a network of 515 stores in order to stock more than 40,000 types of batteries and light bulbs and ensure that customers can special order obscure parts. Their batteries range from dainty watch batteries to 5,000-pound leviathans that can power forklifts, and an on-site tech center can design and assemble custom batteries or rebuild old ones. A diverse array of chargers keep systems juiced, and the shop’s bulbs range from fluorescent tubes to heat lamps. To safeguard the environment, Batteries Plus's staff recycles all types of batteries and bulbs rather than hauling them to landfills or feeding them to each other.
Alouette's ace jewelers fashion a wealth of adornments from a stock of Japanese seed beads, African bone beads, and numerous semiprecious and natural stones, such as onyx and tiger-eye. With staff creations and costume jewelry, Alouette embellishes necks, wrists, and gills for a plentitude of styles and occasions. The team also assembles custom rings or bracelets that conform to patrons' visions, and lead several jewelry-making classes to demystify the bead-stringing arts. To widen the crafting community, Alouette partners with Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Society, gathering students together during monthly sessions for demos and group assistance, helping patrons decide what to make after swiping the Hope diamond.
Fourth and White Oak beautifies houses and complements curves with a curated catalogue of furniture, home décor, and women’s apparel from designers such as Monoreno, Bluebird and Larry Levine. With the first option, juniors and misses can float away on the breeze in a flowy flutter top ($27+), lassoing a nearby fire hydrant with a pair of stretch leggings when they’re ready to touch down again ($20+). Alternatively, choose the second option to browse ready-made and customizable furniture from Bramble, Stein World, and other brands. An animal-print stool—decorated with choice of zebra or giraffe—brings African safaris indoors ($149.99), or the painted butterflies on a green and yellow side table ($109.99) cheerfully hold coasters, coffee mugs, and old copies of Paper Clip Fancier magazine on their multi-hued backs.
The Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt enterprise boasts nearly 200 locations, cooling tongues everywhere from Mississippi to Australia. At each colorful shop, customers have total control over their cups, first selecting a combination of yogurt flavors from dozens of low-calorie options and then swinging by the toppings bar to pile on pieces of fruit, sprinkles of granola, crumbles of brownie, or an entire family of gummy bears. Yogurt flavors range from pineapple, chocolate, and no-sugar-added vanilla, to more complex blends, such as strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cookie cake.
Most people have been there, though few are proud to admit it—mere days before a birthday party or bridal shower, with no gift to speak of. Abundant Flowers takes the stress out of such last-minute predicaments with a full range of themed flower bouquets and gourmet baskets. Showing someone how much you care shouldn't be a chore, and the company seems to intuitively grasp this. They offer a convenient delivery service and safe online ordering 24 hours a day, so you can stay up late selecting a bouquet for that roommate who's always begging you to just go to sleep.
With cell-phone oases spread across the continental US, Cricket Wireless keeps people in touch without shackling customers to burdensome contracts. Linked with the company’s own 3G network, handsets from Samsung or Android and BlackBerry smartphones allow customers to explore the internet at high speeds from the comfort of their own phones. The stores also carry accessories that expand each phone’s functionality, from speakers that add extra thump to MP3s to memory cards with enough space to hold photos, music, and live recordings of last night’s dreams.