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FILA to expand brand presence

By Wang Zhuoqiong | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-17 09:38
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Pedestrians walk past a FILA store in Shanghai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Anta unit looks to gain traction with more consumer segments in nation

FILA, a venerated Italian brand, will look to expand its reach to various age groups in China with a focus on high fashion and sports performances, a top company official said.

Brian Yiu, CEO of FILA China, said the brand will continue to be a key revenue earner for Anta Group, though its earnings may still be lower than the Anta brand, on account of slower store openings in the second half of the year due to a changed macroeconomic environment.

Anta, China's largest sportswear maker, which took over the centuryold Italian brand's business in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao in 2009, said FILA accounted for 40 percent of its total revenue during the first six months of this year.

FILA's revenue rose by 79.9 percent to 6.54 billion yuan ($921 million) during the same period, while gross profit grew 79.2 percent to 4.7 billion yuan or 71.5 percent of the company's total revenue.

The FILA unit has four sub-brands under it. These include the main brand FILA Core, FILA Kids for children's sportswear, FILA Fusion mainly for young consumers and FILA Athletics for sports performances.

FILA Core targets consumers aged between 25 years and 45 years and also the middle-to-high income segment. It is recognized as a leading brand that combines fashion and sports elements and has collaborations with renowned fashion designers including Fendi, Jason Wu and 3.1Phillip Lim.

FILA Fusion, which was founded in 2017, is mostly aimed at the Y and Z generations and includes the latest street fashion and top designer brands.

"It is critical to find a proper way to communicate with the new generation, whether as a business or as parents," said Yiu, who also heads the fashion and sports brand group of Anta Group. "It is also one of the reasons why we founded FILA Fusion, so that we can communicate directly with younger consumers."

In addition to its emphasis and trendsetter position in fashion, sports performance is another new focus for FILA. Last year, the unit set up the FILA Athletics brand, which has developed four collections including tennis, golf, running and fitness gear, as well as seasonal sports including skiing, cycling and water sports, to meet the growing market demand in China for high-end sports.

"We are seeing an increasing number of Chinese people taking part in high-end sports activities such as tennis and sailing, as well as seasonal sports activities such as skiing and cycling," said Yiu. The company is looking to target middle-to-high income consumers who consider sports an integral part of their lives and sportswear a key asset to improve performance. FILA has already inked deals with China Open this year to expand their participation and exposure in tennis.

"To keep such a high-growth pace, FILA has to carefully listen to consumer's preferences and continue to invest in its fashion sports categories to enhance its edge in fashion as well as to gain new strength from sports performance," said Adam Zhang, founder of the Key-Solution sports marketing and consulting agency.

The sportswear unit has design centers in New York, Milan, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.

Though FILA benefited from directly running its stores seven years ago, Yiu believes that there will be an emerging trend in the country for sportswear brands to operate in shopping malls in a multi-brand environment.

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