Parent pulls plug on Fila UK operation

The UK office of sports brand Fila is to close after its parent company, Sports Brand International, signed a strategic partnership deal with Watford-based sportswear and equipment distributor Proline.

The deal comes just days after the departure of UK managing director Peter Lawson, which left the company with no senior management (MW September 4).

Proline will take over the operations and sales responsibilities for Fila in the UK. It will also assist with product design, development and sourcing.

Proline has hired Paul Groom as commercial director for Proline and Fila UK. Groom, who has also worked in sales and marketing at Adidas, will handle the marketing for the Fila brand in the UK, although the strategy is expected to be developed at the brand’s head office in Italy.

The Fila UK office, which has fewer than 50 staff since it was downsized earlier this year, will be wound down by the end of the year. Sports Brand International Europe president Bob Galvin says the company is looking at transferring Fila UK staff to Proline where possible.

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