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MARTA Adds Four Members

5/21/2003 02:18:00 PM Eastern

Scottsdale, Ariz. - The MARTA Cooperative of America has added four new members to its ranks, bringing its roster up to just over 100 dealers and distributors, and pushing its annual group-wide sales to more than $2 billion.

The new additions are Grand Furniture in Norfolk, Va., See World in Indiana, Pa., New York-based Thunderball Marketing, and U.S. Supply Co. in Philadelphia.

According to Warren Mann, executive director of the not-for-profit buying co-op, the addition of four new members at once was an 'unusual coincidence,' given the challenge of finding qualified candidates in differentiated markets.

Grand Furniture, a family-run business founded in 1947, is an eight-store furniture, major appliance and CE chain whose in-house financing is tapped by 80 percent of its customers. See World, which began as an Echostar/DISH installer, has since expanded into home theater and high-end TV. Thunderball Marketing, formed in 1989 as Pioneer's New York metro area car and home distributor, has since added multiple categories and manufacturers and has built the business into a $55 million operation. U.S. Supply, a 53-year-old plumbing and heating supply house, recently entered white goods retailing to augment its builder channel business.

Like all MARTA members, the four newest associates are also co-owners of the buying group through ownership of MARTA stock.

Although the co-op hasn't mounted an active recruitment drive, Mann said it is seeking new members within the under-represented markets of New England, the Pacific Northwest, Denver and San Francisco.