Branded and private label apparel maker Tropical Sportswear Int'l Corporation is to consolidate its distribution operations to be closer to its contractors and customer base.  

In a statement on Thursday, the Florida-based company said the Santa Teresa, New Mexico distribution function of its wholly owned subsidiary Savane International Corp Santa Teresa, New Mexico would merge with the existing TSI distribution operation in Tampa.

The company, whose brands include Savane, Farah, The Original Khaki Co and Banana Joe, expects the process to be completed by the end of December 2004.

To help ensure a smooth transition out of the Santa Teresa distribution centre, and to accommodate for additional capacity requirements in Tampa, TSI has begun upgrading its technology and equipment.

Rich Domino, TSI's president, said: "By consolidating our distribution in Tampa, our product will be closer to our customers and the efficiency of our entire supply chain should be enhanced."

TSI also announced that Richard Domino is assuming the responsibilities of interim general manager of the Private Brand division while the company seeks a replacement for Frank D Keeney who is leaving the company.