By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
AVAD, LLC, the 11-member/distributor group serving the custom installation market with specialty A/V and systems integration brands, has announced a series of new alliances, facilities expansions and Web site improvements.
Among the former, the group has formed a new partnership with Polk Audio that's designed to provide the manufacturer with greater access to qualified specialty custom installation and storefront retailers. Under the agreement, AVAD will help recruit qualified dealers and act as Polk's supply chain partner, providing local training, marketing and tech support, and warehouse services for approved retailers.
Polk's relationship with existing dealers will remain unchanged, although they will have the option of buying from AVAD, direct from Polk or a combination of the two.
AVAD has also entered into an agreement with Bose to distribute is Built-Invisible audio and home theater systems to the group's nationwide dealer base. Stan Shields, manager of Bose's custom solutions group, said AVAD's reputation for customer service, technical support and training "make them a great choice for Bose's installed systems products."
In other AVAD news, the group has redesigned and recently relaunched its Web site. According to AVAD managing director Joe Piccirilli, "The new Web site smoothly combines a number of services such as finding the nearest AVAD distributor and information on upcoming training sessions." The site, located at www.avad.com, will also continue to offer specialized training, AVAD announcements and special pricing programs.
Separately, AVAD has joined the Distributed Audio Alliance (DAA), a partner of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) that seeks to raise awareness among consumers, homebuilders and installers about the value and benefits of multi-room audio systems in the home. Said Piccirilli, "We feel that our experience and knowledge in the system integration arena coupled with the educational medium of DAA will help create tangible benefits for consumers, homebuilders and installers."
AVAD has stepped up efforts to tap into the homebuilders market, where it has positioned itself as a liaison between builders and system integrators. Most recently, the group exhibited at the International Builders Show in January where it promoted its "Get Connected" campaign and received an "extraordinarily high level of interest" in AVAD's products and technologies, Piccirilli said.
Elsewhere, AVAD members Southern California/MarketPro and Audio Video Distributing are relocating to larger facilities. The former will triple its space by moving into a new 28,000-square-foot facility boasting two showrooms, a 100-person-capacity training area, increased warehouse space and an improved customer pick-up area. Audio Video's new 27,000-square-foot facility features a training area, conference center, showroom, and just-in-time inventory capabilities within the warehouse.
Finally, four AVAD members have received vendor awards for exceptional performance. InFocus Corp. has cited Central/Allnet, Ohio/SC Distributors and Rocky Mountain/Primax AV for outstanding ScreenPlay sales performance, while Elan Systems has bestowed Southeast/Custom Solutions Distributing with its Excellence in Distributing Award for the third consecutive year.
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