It’s been a very busy late spring/early summer this year for Professional Audio Associates (PAA). In addition to fulfilling their ongoing commitment to be “in stock and just in time” even as their clients’ business booms, the Woburn MA mega distributor was also knee deep in preparations for their late June annual open house. And if that weren’t enough to keep everyone working at warp speed, behind the scenes were hush-hush negotiations for a major territorial expansion—PAA’s first—to purchase local competitor Home Entertainment Distributors of Canton Ma. The deal closed on June 30. As both firms are privately held, price and terms were not disclosed.
“This new location will give Professional Audio Associates a strong presence south of Boston. We will be able to better serve integrators across the South Shore, as well as Cape Cod, the South Coast and Rhode Island,” says PAA’s president and CE Pro Master Lew Freedman. The distributor's main location is north of Boston in suburban Woburn, Mass., and primarily services Boston’s northern and western suburbs as well as New Hampshire, Maine and southern Vermont.
In addition to getting the Canton location’s 10,000-square-foot facility, PAA will increase staffing with the addition of HED’s four-person team, all of whom will be retained. Ultimately Canton’s personnel will be increased by at least one-third. Long time HED manager and industry veteran John Gilmore will head up the new branch location. In all PAA will now have 22 employees.
Call it habit, human nature or a bit of both, Freedman knows from experience that integrators like the warm fuzzy feeling of walking up to a counter, ordering (just in time) what they need for a job, loading the gear into their truck and driving away. Customers can rest assured that the Home Entertainment Canton warehouse will be filled to capacity with the distributor’s best selling gear. That said, PAA will continue to roll their trucks as well as ship from the Woburn location.
As part of the acquisition, Freedman says PAA will be picking up some key lines, including Yamaha. There will likely be some further new vendor information this summer and fall.
And if the prospects of increased sales and potential new integrator customers weren’t enough, Freedman also noted that the acquisition will put PAA into the still lucrative insurance replacement business that gave HED its start many years ago.
“I am excited,” smiles Freedman. And he should be. As an independent distributor, he’s always in a position to pretty much do what he wants, when he wants to. This acquisition is just the latest example.