Norcross-based Mizuno USA, a manufacturer and distributor of sports equipment and clothing, began operations in Braselton this month at an over half a million square-foot facility.

The new location merges two former distribution centers and relocates their golf manufacturing services, which supplied the entire U.S., from their previous Norcross home.

Bob Puccini, president of Mizuno USA and director of Mizuno Corp., called the move a “critical next step” for the company which says it has seen its sales triple since 2000.

The Osaka, Japan-based global company with 13 affiliates was founded in 1906 and distributes baseball, golf, softball, running, track and field, volleyball equipment, apparel and footwear for international markets. Mizuno USA opened in Norcross in 1982.

“Our growth expectations are even higher for the next five years,” Mr. Puccini said in a press release.

The company says the 520,000 square-foot center will provide 150 full-time positions as well as opportunities for seasonal work.