Italian Company Continues to Put Out Feelers for U.S. Partnership
Fila says its skate sales jumped 35 percent this year, boosting its inline revenues by 20 percent.
"Year by year, we are gaining market share, and this is making us very happy," said Claudio Balconi, the product manager for the Italian skate maker.
Balconi said the company's skate sales are strongest in Central Europe, particularly in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
The company is seeing the biggest growth in sales in Eastern Europe, he said.
Balconi put out word last summer that Fila was hoping to move into the U.S. skate market. But so far, the company has not found a U.S. distributor.
"Unfortunately, we are not yet distributed in the United States, but we are sure we could do a great job over there, too," Balconi said.
"We have the right weapon to satisfy the end consumers and to make a very profitable business to our possible partners."
(Interested sporting goods retailers or mass merchants can reach Balconi at [email protected])
U.S. skaters have had their choice of consumer skates limited to three brands this year: Rollerblade, K2 and Salomon.
Last year, they also had the choice of Roces. But in the midst of a reorganization, Roces never delivered its skates this year.
Next year, the nation's skaters are expected to have even fewer choices as the result of Salomon's decision to abandon the sluggish U.S. market.
(Though Fila skates are not readily available in the United States, Hypno carries the older model World Cup marathon skate. Hypno is owned by MGM SpA, the Italian company that makes Fila skates.)
(posted on Oct. 24, 2005)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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