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HDA Promotes Trent Kauffman to Director of Merchandising

Hardlines Distribution Alliance (HDA) announced the promotion of Trent Kauffman to director of merchandising. Previously a merchandise manager, Kauffman brings with him numerous years of experience in the industry and at HDA working to build partnerships to drive success across multiple channels. 

In his new role Kauffman will oversee the merchandising department and set directives and goals as he works closely with HDA member distributors and vendor partners.

“Trent’s extensive background in the industry and understanding of the business has allowed him to provide solutions, which drives value to HDA customers,” says Shari Kalbach, president at HDA. “His commitment to the industry and ability to cultivate relationships with our distributor members and vendor partners has earned him this new role, and I look forward to his continued success.”

Prior to joining HDA, Kauffman earned a psychology degree at the University of Oregon before beginning his career at Jerry’s Home Improvement. Starting as a loader in the lumberyard, Kauffman moved into various sales positions before eventually becoming an assistant store manager. In 2008, he was promoted to buyer for the lawn and garden, electrical and home organization categories. In this role, he managed the purchasing, pricing, merchandising and advertising for two large home improvement stores. In 2012, he joined True Value as a product merchant where he managed purchasing programs with over 160 vendors for 350 independently owned retail stores.

In 2016, Kauffman joined PRO Group, now HDA, as a merchandise manager, primarily managing the lawn and garden and electrical categories. With over 20 years of experience, Kauffman brings with him a deep understanding of the industry, merchandising goals and forging distributor and manufacturer partnerships.

In his new role, Kauffman is looking forward to using his experience to set and achieve goals and build successful programs for the entire HDA network of distributors, manufacturers and retailers.

“I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to provide leadership for the HDA merchandising department,” Kauffman says. “My experience has taught me the significant value that independent retailers bring to their communities, and I’ve always been proud to be a part of that. Working with HDA distributors, manufacturers and retailers has been extremely fulfilling for me, and I look forward to building on the past seven years to strengthen HDA customers’ positions in their marketplaces and to contribute to the success of HDA and its partners.”

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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