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Things Italian and upscale socks will be the first items rolling out the doors of a new distribution center in Lancaster.

Skulogix, an e-commerce order processing and stock replenishment company located in Walden Business Center, has announced the signing of the first clients for its local facility.

TouchItaly, a global provider of premium Italian lifestyle products, and American Essentials, a leading manufacturer and licenseeof men's and women's socks, have signed on for Skulogix's distribution services. A third undisclosed client has also reportedly inked a deal with the contract distributor.

Dave Masotti, Skulogix president and chief executive, said the opening of the 122,000-square-foot Lancaster center will enable the company to solve the complexities of the online sale channel and tradition supply chain on behalf of its clients.

"Our innovative solutions help premium brands and their retail partners increase sales, margins and profitability by enabling them to get the right product, to the right customer at the time," Masotti said.

In January 2000, the Toronto-based company announced it had selected Uniland Development Co.'s site at 3344 Walden Ave. for its U.S. distribution hub. At the time, Masotti predicted that within two to five years of opening, the facility could employ as many as 900 workers.

While Skulogix failed to meet a March 2000 schedule for hiring its first 150 employees, it did gain ground in shoring up its cash flow position by securing some $32 million (U.S.) in financing late last year. The company has used the time to target key clients it expects to sign in the months ahead.

"Everything's been delayed, from sales, to contracts, to employment, but that doesn't impact our long-term plans for the Lancaster site," said Philip Pierce, a Skulogix spokesman.

The representative declined to disclose specifics on hiring to date, citing competitive considerations, but said the company continues to have big plans for the local distribution facility.

"We stand by our earlier numbers. Things are still in their infancy at this time, but the employment numbers will grow exponentially as clients are signed and goods are shipped in," he added.

TouchItaly will utilize Skulogix's e-commerce services to ship a variety of Italian-made goods, including apparel clothing, food, and housewares, direct to consumers from the company's soon-to-be-launched site at

"We were looking for a partner that understood, and was able to deliver, our desired brand experience," said Giovanni Vacchi, TouchItaly co-chief operating officer, in a statement about the new partnership.

"Skulogix combined their knowledge of premium brands with the speed, accuracy and flexibility we were looking for."

TouchItaly's products are expected to start moving through the Lancaster facility in the next several weeks.

American Essentials will leverage Skulogix's state-of-the-art warehouse to distribute their own brand, private label and licensed brands such as Calvin Klein Socks and Claiborne Socks to premier department stores across the United States.

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