Fila U.S.A. plans to expand at Belt's park

June 24, 1994|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Sun Staff Writer

Belt's Corp. said yesterday that Fila U.S.A. will double the size of its national distribution center in East Baltimore, and that Belt's plans to build a second building for its tenant by the end of the year.

Fila is an Italian sporting goods and sportswear company best known for tennis gear. But it has been making a big push into the market for basketball goods, especially sneakers, using Dallas Mavericks star Jamal Mashburn as the spokesman for its marketing campaign.

"This means enhanced economic development and additional new jobs in Baltimore City," Belt's President Skip Brown said. "Fila's growth has been phenomenal."

The expansion will bring Fila's total facility at Belt's Holabird Industrial Park to 323,000 square feet. Belt's said the expanded facility will be the biggest new distribution center in Baltimore.

Fila officials couldn't be reached after Belt's late-afternoon announcement. The U.S. unit of the Italian-based Fila Holding SpA is based in Hunt Valley.

Fila is still a relatively minor player in the U.S. sneaker business. Its market share is sixth in the industry, Bloomberg Business News reported in February, with leader Nike Inc. and No. 2 Reebok International Ltd. controlling about 55 percent of the market.

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