The Video Software Dealers Assoc. (VSDA) announced today (March 29) that it's forming iGroup, a division devoted entirely to independent video retailers.

The Video Software Dealers Assoc. (VSDA) announced today (March 29) that it's forming iGroup, a division devoted entirely to independent video retailers.

VSDA is funding iGroup from membership dues and other revenue sources such as trade events. The organization says iGroup will be fully operational with a small staff by July. The division will then oversee all VSDA programs and services relating to the needs of independent retailers.

"The vision of this organization is to put independent retailers in control of their own destiny. To empower them through networking, education, communication and business tools," said iGroup interim chairman Mark Vrieling during a conference call with media representatives.

"This strengthens VSDA," added president Bo Anderson. "We've built our trade events on our [independent retailer] memberships and we need and want to address their needs in the most particular market-driven ways so we can represent the whole of the industry."

An elected board of trustees, who will operate separately and autonomously from the VSDA, will govern the group. The first three spots will be voted on during this spring's VSDA board of directors election.

Vrieling says staff announcements won't be made for a few weeks. An official launch is being planned for the VSDA convention July 14-16 in Las Vegas.

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