Meridian Teams With HTSA

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New York - Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) selected Meridian America as a preferred vendor.

This will give Meridian access to HTSA membership "while still maintaining a controlled distribution," said Meridian America CEO Peter Wellikoff.

The partnership fits in with the high-end A/V brand's

"less-is-more strategy,"

which has been successful, he told TWICE. Under that strategy, Meridian America significantly scaled back its dealer base and product selection beginning in 2009 and, by June of this year, reduced its dealer base to 100 accounts from 250 as part of an effort to focus more resources on fewer, more committed dealers. As part of that effort, Meridian also adopted more of a luxury position in the A/V market.

By the end of this year, the company expects its dealer base could grow to as many as 120 from the current 100, in part through the HTSA partnership.

Meridian previously did business with about a third of HTSA's 61 members, and with the formal HTSA partnership, Meridian is able to participate in all HTSA initiatives and programs, Wellikoff said. Neither the HTSA member nor preferred vendor, however, is required to engage in business together. "This is still done on a case-by-case basis, although ‘preferred' is the operative word," he said.

Meridian's less-is-more strategy is working, Wellikoff also told TWICE. "We just closed our fiscal year, and we're up again in a tough market. We've improved our financial performance by reducing almost all operating expenses while increasing revenue and better managing and executing our best-in-class business model."

HTSA executive director Richard Glikes said the partnership "brings two high-performance organizations together with mutual benefits that will make the client acquisition process stunningly fruitful."

HTSA members consist of 61 custom retailers and integrators with almost 100 storefronts in 39 states. They represent a combined buying power of more than $350 million. Members install high-end audio, video, automation, lighting, climate-control and energy-management systems.

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