"New MERA" Launched For 12-Volt Industry

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North Andover, Mass. - After finalizing contracts, the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA) has been officially purchased by InstallerNet, and its name has been changed slightly to the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association, now referred to as the "new MERA."

As reported in August, MERA is now a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary of InstallerNet and approximately 2,000 InstallerNet retailers will become MERA members, enlarging the organization whose membership had dwindled down to 135 active retail members, from more than 600 at one point.

Today InstallerNet president and CEO Tony Frangiosa said the new MERA will announce several initiatives at the upcoming SEMA show on Nov. 4. 

On a conference call today, MERA executive director Barry Vogel said a key goal of the new organization is to engage members and elicit their active participation.  A Web site that goes live tomorrow will help in this effort, allowing retailers to input information and feedback. 

Frangiosa also said the new MERA will play a key sponsorship role in the 12-volt awareness campaign that is seeking to raise $300,000 for a viral campaign to launch Nov. 12, and that Vogel sits on the board of the 12 Volt Awareness Initiative. 

Frangiosa told TWICE in August that one of the first orders of business of the new MERA will be to plan KnowledgeFest 2010. The annual MERA-sponsored trade seminar had been cancelled in 2009.

InstallerNet coordinates more than 3,000 installing retailers (approximately 2,000 of which sell car audio). It sells installation gift cards that the installer network honors. Retailers such as Walmart, Amazon and Crutchfield, which don't provide on-site installation, may sell these gift cards alongside car stereo products. The customer buys the card and calls an 800 number to be directed to the local InstallerNet retailer who performs the installation for a set price.

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