MERA, an industry group whose aim is to help retailers grow their businesses, says it will make use of technologies owned by ICE, including its system of managing dealer web sites (so dealers don’t have to).
MERA says it hopes to create programs to make it easier for smaller MERA members to grow to a level where they can become ICE members.
ICE will be run as in the past, and managers Jason Denton and Cory Mayo will continue to oversee membership and operations. ICE founder and Executive Director Robert Elliott will take a post on the MERA Board of Directors.
“We anticipate that nothing will change for current ICE members and vendor partners during this ownership transition, and for the foreseeable future,” said MERA President Chris Cook. “Jason and Cory are accomplished professionals… Our position will be to support them in every way with MERA’s applicable resources, and to help to introduce new products and programs that fit the group.”
ICE, based in Swedesboro, NJ, was started by former mobile electronics retailer Elliott in 2006 as the first buying group for car audio. It grew to a current 164 dealers representing 204 store locations working as a $220 million collective.
MERA members include over 1,000 storefronts nationwide. MERA is based in North Andover, MA and was purchased by InstallerNet in 2009. MERA recently entered a partnership with ICE. “As we discussed the elements of the partnership, we began to see how the benefits our organizations supplied to retailers were complementary. ICE represents the upper echelon of retailers that have demonstrated success on several levels. MERA supplies the proverbial ladder that helps retailers grow to that level of success. At that point, the conversation changed and evolved into the announcement we’re making today.”
Photo of ICE “boot camp” dealer training