USG Brands acquires Fila footwear European distribution
The Fila team sticks to their plan. The brand has belonged to Fila Korea since 2007. In June 2011, the license for continental Europe was granted to Dosenbach-Ochsner, a subsidiary of Deichmann, the huge German shoe retailer. The Swiss company attempted to sell Fila in its own-name stores and affiliated stores but also to find multibrand partners and sub-licensees starting in spring 2013.
That is now a done deal with the signing of a distribution license agreement with Footwear International Distribution, a subsidiary of European footwear distributor USG Brands (Le Coq Sportif, Lotto, Pantofola d'oro) for the distribution of its shoes in continental Europe, except Russia and Ukraine.
“After casting about to find partners on different European markets, the Swiss met the CEO of USG. It turns out that we cover almost all markets targeted by Fila, from Oslo to Spain, through subsidiaries or agents,” said Patrick Buffeteau, head of USG Brands in France. “This represents sixty retail specialists in the industry. For example, in France, this rounds out my three brands in ski, Pantofola d'oro, Valsport and Tenson, with a lifestyle sport offering.”
Fila will first be offering lifestyle footwear to French retailers ranging from independent fashion multibrands to major sportswear accounts. “The brand has retained a good image,” said Patrick Buffeteau. “We have little time to put together the autumn-winter line. The real first season with lifestyle sport will be spring-summer 2014. Then we can integrate sports performance because we have the design teams and production tools. And I am waiting for an apparel agreement to support the development.” The terms of this agreement were not disclosed.
Fila is licensed to Sportmaster in Russia and Cravatex for the Middle East (except Israel), North Africa and India. In the U.K. and Ireland, the license is held by JD Sports Fashion.
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