Here are three distributor updates, including two important announcements in car audio distribution that occurred in the past six months.
Connecticut-based car audio and custom home theater distributor MRI was purchased in March by SnapAV, a leading national home theater distributor for an undisclosed sum. SnapAV was actually a former competitor to MRI in home theater.
MRI says its car audio side of the business will not be affected.
With the purchase, MRI gains a national footprint and it will now carry many SnapAV home theater brands. MRI President Robert Dean called the purchase, “A great opportunity.”
MRI, it turns out was just part of SnapAV’s buying binge. SnapAV this month announced plans to acquire home automation company Control4 in an all cash transaction for $23.91 per share, representing a total value of $680 million. The merger is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
MRI offers car audio out of its headquarters in Plainville, CT and Albany, NY. It also has home theater facilities in Woburn, MA and Norwalk, CT. It has 40 employees.
In December, Scosche shifted its direct dealer accounts to two-step distribution with the exception of members of the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America (MESA) buying group, who remain in dealer direct status.
Apart from MESA members, all dealers were directed to work with their local Scosche distributors.
Five months later, Scosche said the move was successful, resulting in “well over double digit growth” and an increased number of dealer accounts.
The company said the move reflects the need for change as cars become more complex. “It got to the point where we felt we weren’t able to fully educate the dealers…” said Nathan Perkins, Scosche Connect Car Team Manager. “The distributors know their direct market in some areas better than we do and are better able to service customers, especially nowadays, with specialty installation.”
Among the distributors Scosche works with are Custom Plus Distributing, Team Marketing, DOW Electronics, LESCO Distributing and A&W Distributing.
DOW Electronics extended its distribution of VOXX and Arc Audio as of March 1. VOXX was previously available only in the DOW territories of TX, OK, LA and AK . It is now offered in all 13 states where DOW operates.
Arc Audio was previously available from DOW in FL, GA, MS, AL and a small part of TX. It too is now offered in all 13 states.