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FILA ON THE NORTHWEST TRAIL TO SHED "FASHION BRAND" IMAGE
Published May 8, 1998
Fila Holdings SpA "is consolidating much of its U.S. operation in Portland to cut costs and gain efficiency," according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. Most of the company's footwear and apparel development will move to Fila's Portland, OR, office, which is expected to "swell" from 52 to more than 100 employees. Manning added that the "chief mission of Fila's Portland office is to change the brand's image and shed the fashion brand stigma," a reputation Fila has "never been able to shake." Fila CEO Enrico Frachey said that the company's office in Boulder, CO would be closed and that staffing in its MA and NY offices "would be significantly reduced." Some displaced workers will be offered jobs in OR. Manning added that Fila's $8.7M loss in 1Q '98 "surprised Wall Street," after "the consensus of analysts was that Fila would break even for the quarter." Nobel Fulati of ABN AMRO in NY: "We were extremely disappointed. We really don't see much hope for positive developments in the next two quarters" (OREGONIAN, 5/7).