Both associations will now enter a due diligence phase, including a vote from all Popai active members, and work in good faith toward an agreement to merge.
“It is clear to us that the memberships of both organizations have much in common, and that the entire industry will benefit greatly from our combining forces,” Popai chairman, Michelle Adams, said.
Bob Rosean, elected president of A.R.E. said the merger is a “true unification of equals”.
“These two venerable associations bring complementary strengths to the table. Together, it will be a case of one plus one equals three,” Rosean said.
Popai established in 1936, is a not for profit profit global association for the instore marketing industry. International in scope, its membership consists of retailers, CPGs, brand agencies, producers, and educators.
The A.R.E. was established in 1956 as the National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM), and is the not for profit trade association representing the retail environments industry.
A.R.E. member companies include retail design firms and suppliers of store fixtures, visual merchandising products, materials, equipment, and services.
The two associations will work together in the months ahead to accomplish the legal unification of the associations under a new name.
A search will begin immediately for a CEO of the new combined association.
Current A.R.E. executive director, Todd Dittman, will become COO of the combined association.
The new association will be headquartered in Chicago and maintain offices in both Chicago and Hollywood, FL.