Two NY metro-area CI rep firms join forces
A/V rep firm Audio Associates of Somerset, N.J. and Clifton, N.J.-based lighting/shading rep firm Thea & Schoen have “joined forces” as Thea A/V, a division of Thea & Schoen, to “make ourselves a bigger, more powerful selling agent,” according to Bill Thea, who is heading up the new organization.
“It’s a joining of forces – not a partnership and not a financial arrangement,” Thea said. “Our goal is to provide value to our business partners. It expands our bandwidth in the same region. We’re going to take whatever the best practices are from both organizations.”
The firms sell in nearly identical geographical regions in the New York Metro area, but there is no overlap in their product lines, said Thea.
Audio Associates, whose principal is Ron Meyerowitz, sells multiple brands including those under the D+M Group and Harman umbrellas, and Thea’s focus is on Lutron’s lines, said Thea, making for a complementary and synergistic presentation.
“The CI group is our key targeted customer base, but Audio Associates also deals with what we call retail integrators – retailers with home automation and integration products who also have design capabilities. We also spend a lot of time with the specifying community.
“It makes a lot of sense,” Thea continued. “The two companies have been around for a while. We’re pretty entrenched and I think we have good reputations. For us, it seems to be a good pathway for growth. Our goal as a company is to provide value to our business partners, whether it’s vendors or customers. It’s whatever value you can bring. When you become an agency with 10 or 11 people in the same selling geography, you have more bandwidth and can cover quite a bit more – and can not only service business but help to create it.”