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 will 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 that drive value to HDA customers,” said 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 more than 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.
“I am very happy to hear about Trent’s promotion,” said Jim Depolo, national sales manager at VP Racing Fuels. “He has always been a wealth of knowledge and very helpful to me as a vendor. He is a great person and a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working with him in his new position and all the HDA team as we continue to grow together.”
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,” said Kauffman. “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.”