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In Car Experts announced it has secured an agreement for Stillwater Designs of Stillwater, Okla., manufacturer of the KICKER brand, to join its ranks as a vendor member. The new partnership is the first since the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) acquired In Car Experts in February, and it expands the number of product lines and programs available to In Car Experts retail members.

“We are very excited to have the originators of the KICKER brand as a partner with In Car Experts,” said Chris Cook, president of MERA. “Stillwater Designs has shown the ability to maintain its Unilateral Minimum Advertised Price (UMAP) policy across its brands and channels, thus protecting and retaining profit margins for its retailers. The company’s proven dedication to its retail core sets the stage for delivering high value to In Car Experts retail members.”

In Car Experts retail members will now receive benefits when selling the Kicker and SoundGate brands, which target entry level to enthusiast consumers who want premium quality audio reproduction. Product categories include amplifiers, speakers, signal processors, vehicle-specific enclosures and integration solutions, in addition to the fast-growing powersports and marine audio categories. Key retailer benefits include product and shipping discounts, demo unit programs and volume incentive rebates.

“Stillwater Designs is very interested in increasing the number of relationships it has with elite-level retailers in their respective markets,” stated Jeff Peters, director of domestic sales for Stillwater Designs. “In Car Experts delivers a best-in-market customer experience when presenting our brand.”

About In Car Experts
In Car Experts is a group of the nation’s best mobile electronics retailers supported by vendor partners who are committed to the success of the independent specialist. Working as a multimillion dollar collective, In Car Experts is able to provide members with proven national marketing and enhanced vendor programs that are only available when functioning as part of a larger group. For more information, call (877) 777-4ICE or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Stillwater Designs
KICKER Performance Audio products, a division of Stillwater Designs and Audio, Inc.®, are available for the mobile and home audio aftermarket at authorized retailers worldwide, and also as original equipment for automobile manufacturers. For more information on KICKER or Livin’ Loud®, call (800) 256-5425 or visit the brand website at 

The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA), representing more than 1,000 specialist locations nationwide, announced it has acquired In Car Experts (ICE), a Swedesboro, N.J.-based firm that specializes in providing marketing infrastructure and strategic product acquisition services to well-established retail businesses in the in-vehicle technology sector. The acquisition will serve to broaden MERA’s capabilities in providing resources to its members, and to strengthen MERA’s brand within the mobile electronics community.

“The decision to acquire ICE started with a partnership that we announced during CES,” said Chris Cook, president of MERA. “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.”

As part of the acquisition, ICE will maintain its current operation under the guidance of Jason Denton and Cory Mayo, both of whom have managed the day-to-day operations of the firm for the past few years. Founder and current Executive Director Robert Elliott’s experience and counsel will take on a broader focus with his new position 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,” added Cook. “Jason and Cory are accomplished professionals who have met the needs of the membership and are partners in every respect. 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.”

One immediate benefit to ICE members is that they automatically become members of MERA as a condition of the acquisition, gaining access to the organization’s sales and marketing support programs, as well as a vastly expanded peer network. In addition, MERA plans to develop a program that coaches its members to meet the requirements of ICE membership.

“We have already identified a number of MERA member businesses we feel are ideal candidates to become part of ICE,” said Cook. “The goal is not to lower the requirements for ICE membership, but rather to build a path by which retailers can raise their performance to a level that makes them eligible.”

ICE was started by former mobile electronics retailer Elliott in 2006. The firm used images of wolves in its initial marketing campaigns to represent the “pack mentality” it felt retailers needed to take to maintain and grow market share and viability in an ever more competitive consumer space. ICE quickly grew, with a selection of retail business that had achieved a certain level of sales success but still needed the benefits offered within an environment of like-minded professionals.

Despite its achievements, ICE made the deliberate decision to maintain a low-key presence in the industry, choosing to focus its efforts internally for the benefit of its membership. The firm currently offers a full suite of programs to develop competitive pricing and marketing advantages for its members.

“ICE was started to provide retailers with proven, enhanced marketing and vendor programs that are only available to retailers when functioning as part of a larger group,” said Elliott. “Over the past eight years, our members have benefitted from better product pricing, marketing support and a close-knit network of successful entrepreneurs sharing best practices. MERA’s acquisition ensures that these benefits will not only continue, but will be expanded and enriched with more resources and new leadership.”

About the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association:

The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) strives to grow the mobile electronics industry by supporting its professionals with education, networking opportunities and legislative support. Members include retailers, manufacturers, distributors, manufacturer’s representatives and others who realize professionalism and continuing education are cornerstones for successful business. In addition to numerous member benefits, MERA publishes Mobile Electronics magazine, the premier industry trade resource, and produces KnowledgeFest, the industry’s only trade show and education conference dedicated to mobile electronics professionals. For more information, visit or call (800) WHY-MERA. 

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