MERA Pegs 5K Car AV Shops

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Ever wondered how many car electronics specialty retailers are dotted across the country. The answer is officially 4,717 according to MERA (the Mobile Electronics Retailers Assoc.) using data derived from its parent corporation, InstallerNet.

The figure is down significantly from 10,000 car electronics specialists—the common estimate given 5-10 years ago. The figure is also lower than many believed as the present day estimate. The new “retailer map debunks the conventional industry wisdom of 6 to 8,000 outlets held by many industry stakeholders,” said MERA executive director Chris Cook. (See map below).

Of course, fewer 12 volt shops may translate into lower industry sales. “If consumer retail touch points are reduced, sales will go down simply based on the laws of scale. MERA’s hope is that this and other research forthcoming from the association will be very useful for strategy and business modeling for all industry stakeholders.”

MERA said it will present more research at its upcoming KnowledgeFest 2010 to be held in Dallas, October 10-12. (We’re going to be there and so should you!)

The map also shows that there are 607 car electronics retailers in California, the state with the most shops. Florida ranks second with 381 shops followed by Texas with 330 and New York with 285.

The specialists included in the 4,717 tally includes chains such as Seattle-based Car Toys, but not big box stores such as Best Buy and Walmart.

Source: MERA
Double click on map for full view.

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  1. This figure is far lower than ACTUAL shops, I’m not sure how they compiled the data, however its much closer to 7600 retail shops (not e-tail). I believe this list is simply compiled from installernet(s) database. And according to their own website they have “6,000 installers and 1,500 locations’………….So you mean to tell me they foolishly believe that 1 out of 3 shops are on board w/ their programs, yet they have ‘more installers’ than install shops exist……………

    Sorry, numbers aren’t real accurate, but it’s good information. The distribution, however, appears to be fairly close (% wise) based on our own database(s) and record(s)

  2. I believe there are no less than 20 professionals in the okc metro market area that are operating on an individual basis/tech for hire. Myself included. as well as 7 former employees. Hello 405. respect.
    MERA> > good luck with finding your unicorn. hahah . statistic. whatever.

    1. Anyone who has a question about obtaining the retail data from the MERA report can call (800) 949-6372, MERA’s main number. If you have questions on how InstallerNet compiled the data, you can try contacting the same number.
      –Amy Gilroy

  3. Nice,
    Mo-81 shops 4 of them are in the top 100
    Az-105 Shops Had like 6 Top 100 installers
    I think the quality of the specialists shops has gone up..
    Lets keep it that way.

  4. I am curious as to the source of the data. As long as I can remember, no one has been able to nail down the number of independent 12 volt retailers. The process has been especially difficult due to so many retailers “flying under the radar”. They are not MECP certified, they do not belong to any trade organizations, or subscribe to any trade publications. If accurate, this would be significant in charting the future of the independent specialist.

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