DENVER, CO — Distribution America and PRO Group announced March 10 that, effective April 1, they will be operating as Hardlines Distribution Alliance (HDA), a service management company representing over 60 member distributors nationwide. Shari Kalbach, formerly Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PRO Group, has been appointed President of HDA and will direct the management team and staff. With the formation of HDA, the organization will be capable of offering more robust programs and services to respective distributor, manufacturer, and dealer partners. These enhanced programs will continue to allow independently owned hardware, farm/ag, lawn and garden, and paint retailers to compete in today’s competitive retail environment.
Steve Henry, CEO of House-Hasson Hardware Company and Chairman of the Board of Hardlines Distribution Alliance, commented, “The synergies we will all benefit from by combining the best of DA and PRO will enable us to better position customers for success in the highly competitive hardware and home improvement marketplace. House-Hasson is excited about the future of HDA and the reimagined powertrain that will drive success and opportunity.”
Doyle Wallace, President and CEO of Wallace Hardware Company, mentioned the unique benefit the alliance would have for their company. “This is a great step forward for the industry and for the entire network served by HDA and helps us all better combat the giant online and big box competition our segment of the channel faces.”
In addition to advertising, marketing, and merchandising services, Hardlines Distribution Alliance boasts over $7 billion in annual purchasing strength across its member distributors. It is with these robust services and purchasing power that HDA hopes to build a stronger hardware and home improvement channel for the benefit of all partners in the industry. “This move is a natural evolution for DA and PRO combining all of our core strengths for the benefit of retailers, distributors and manufacturers served by both organizations,” said Steve Synnott, President and CEO at PRO Group, Inc.
Jonathan Mize, Chairman of Distribution America and CEO and President of Blish-Mize Co., concurred. “The shared services of HDA will continue to allow all members to cater the programs to fit their individual needs while everyone at HDA, including our vendor partners, will be helping us focus on growth and new market share opportunities. A shared service relationship like this has been long overdue.”
Another driving factor behind Hardlines Distribution Alliance was the already successful Executive Planning Conference that brings together DA and PRO members in one setting. With a combination of resources, manufacturer attendees are able to meet with distributor members from both groups while only traveling to one location. This same strategy is what makes the alliance between the two companies so immensely beneficial to members and partners of each group.
“The industry saw tremendous benefit when DA and PRO came together in 2003 to establish the annual Executive Planning Conference,” said Dave Christmas, CEO at Distribution America. “It is that same vision which will allow Hardlines Distribution Alliance to perform key advertising and merchandising services for all HDA members with a stronger platform than either entity could have achieved independently.”
Hardlines Distribution Alliance is a multidivisional international merchandising and marketing organization with corporate headquarters in Denver. With the largest network of distributor, manufacturer and dealer partners in the industry, the alliance’s combined sales volume exceeds $7 billion through its over 65 member distributors who operate 140 distribution centers serving all 50 states.