By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Associated Volume Buyers (AVB) retail buying group launched a special division within its organization for car audio called Mobile Entertainment Source (MES). AVB describes MES as the first exclusive car audio buying and merchandising group dedicated to the car audio specialist.
MES's goal is to provide retailers increased return on their bottom line through combined volume purchasing. It will also offer merchandising tools to increase store foot traffic such as national advertising, six to 12 months retail financing, and credit card processing. The group has already signed up approximately 80 retailers and several suppliers, said MES executive director Jim Ristow.
Ristow said MES also places a major focus on sales education, complementing the educational efforts of the Mobile Electronics Retailers' Assn. (MERA). "AVB has a division for home specialty retailers called Home Entertainment Source which works closely with PARA and CEDIA on the home side, and we intend to do the same thing with MERA," Ristow said.
AVB has an estimated 1,500 members. In addition to the Home Entertainment Source division and the new MES division, the group operates a Brand Source division for TV appliance dealers.
"We have 220-230 members on the home side with a goal of 300 members. On the mobile side we're looking for 200-250 dealers. We've negotiated deals with many of the major suppliers and are already in talks with almost every other one," Ristow said.
MES is currently on a membership drive to sign up qualified dealers. Those interested may call AVB at (714) 502-9620.
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