Ill. - World Wide Stereo will join
The Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group), effective Jan. 1 becoming
its 19th member.
The Philadelphia-based specialty A/V dealer joins PRO from Home
Entertainment Source (HES), a partner buying group where World Wide founder Bob
Cole had been active as a three-term president and longtime board member.
Cole said PRO more closely matched his company's business model,
which he learned during the groups' 18-month-old strategic affiliation, known
as the Alliance.
"I have had the opportunity to work with PRO Group since the
partnership with HES, and through this new relationship, I have come to realize
how closely the business models of the PRO members parallel World Wide Stereo,
which is the foundation of my decision to join their group," he said in a
"It is a direct result of the PRO/HES partnership that I now have
the opportunity to expand my family to include the members of PRO Group. I feel
that I can make a significant contribution to the group, and they certainly
have the experience and insight to help take World Wide Stereo to the next
level," Cole continued. "I will also continue to work with Jim Ristow
[executive VP] of HES as a bridge for furthering the PRO/HES partnership and
making it stronger. This is a huge priority and a win-win for everyone."
In a statement, PRO Group executive director Dave Workman echoed
that "the addition of World Wide Stereo is a direct result of the partnership
formed a year and a half ago with HES as we continue to direct our efforts on
serving the unique business needs of the larger specialty retailer and
augmenting this with the additional services available through our affiliation
He added that he is "extremely pleased that Bob Cole and his team
at World Wide Stereo have decided to join the select ranks of respected
specialty retailers that the industry has come to expect of PRO Group."
In its new affiliation, World Wide Stereo will compete directly
with fellow PRO Group member Sixth Avenue Electronics, the New Jersey-based A/V
chain that recently opened its first Pennsylvania
store in close proximity to one of Cole's two showrooms.