Swedesboro, N.J. - In Car Experts (ICE), the first buying group for car audio specialists in the U.S., announced that its first vendor member will be JL Audio.
ICE said it expects to announce 7 to 10 additional ICE suppliers by the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and may possibly announce one or two new suppliers by the end of the SEMA show this week, which is underway in Las Vegas.
Pioneer Electronics, told TWICE it is currently talking to ICE about membership.
In September, ICE announced its first 25 retail members and said it plans eventually hopes represent 500 retailers.
Executive director Rob Elliott remains secretive about the ICE programs that will be offered to retailers, but said those programs will begin to go into effect in January.
Elliott said retailers will receive help with in-store merchandising and advertising and will benefit from an improved relationship with vendors.
The goal behind the buying group is to professionalize retailers and help them put better business practices into place, which will, in turn, help them sell more goods for the vendors.
ICE sees its existence as symbolic of the maturity of the industry. “We all started as hobbyists; we were in the install bays, but we understand in order for this industry to survive, we need to become more business-oriented. We need to become best partners with our vendors and this will help keep the vendors focused on us and not just on OEM or on other types of retailers.”
Some of the ICE retailer members who are also on the ICE advisory board include Audio Advisors, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Audiocar, Chula Vista, Calif.; Auto Sound, Security, Willoughby, Ohio; Beach Auto Sound, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Car Audio Depot, Modesto, Calif.; Car-Fi, Springfield, Mo.; Columbus Car Audio, Columbus, Ohio; Crazy Bobs, St. George, Utah; Horizon Audio, Canton, Ohio; and Kustom Kar Audio, Santa Rosa, Calif.
A full list of advisory board members is posted at www.incarexperts.com.