Mobile Electronics Magazine November 2017

Page 12

 what’s happening


The Mobile Electronics Specialists of America (M.E.S.A.) held its annual summit this September, which featured four custom builds from Pioneer vendors and the show’s first ever product showcase. WORDS BY TED GOSLIN

Back in 2010, there was a collective mindset bubbling in the minds of 12-volt retailers across the country. Margins weren’t sustainable at their previous levels due to challenges with educating the general public about all products and services available. The buzz soon built into a roar, resulting in the formation of the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America, known best as M.E.S.A. “It was formed by a handful of retailers that were looking to be part of a buying and marketing group. They all had the same marketing needs in trying to get customers in the door and all ran similar sales,” said Ryan Gunter,

12  Mobile Electronics  November 2017

executive director of M.E.S.A. “As long as you don’t have overlapping territories, why can’t we all just share? The goal was to maximize their efforts and spread across the country to match the high tide, raising all boats.” The group began with a core group of 10 members and has grown to include 135 members today. With only one retailer allowed per territory, growth is limited, but continues with over $269 million in sales to date and 261 store locations covering 43 states. Membership is broken into different levels, with the Platinum level requiring sales of $1.8 million a year and above, while the

Gold level requires a minimum sales of $700,000 per year. 2017 marks the sixth year of the M.E.S.A. Summit, which took place in Denver, Co. The event began in the organization’s second year with two primary goals, according to Gunter. “For all of us to get together to share best business practices. ‘What are you doing different from what I’m doing?’ The second was for our member partners to have face to face meetings with our members and bring opportunities for Q4 buys for the year,” he said. “A lot of our retailers in the past were not very promotional because they assumed they couldn’t

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