- With global expansion in mind, Lids is opening its first stores in Europe with four standalone locations in the London metropolitan area this month, according to a press release.
- The stores will feature products from U.S. MLB, NFL and NBA teams and brands like Adidas, New Era Cap, Hurley and Oakley. Shoppers can also add custom embroidery to their hat or clothing in stores at its Custom Zones.
- The company currently has nearly 2,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and plans to open over 100 standalone Lids stores in new markets.
The decision to expand across the pond comes after Lids' leadership change a few years ago. Following pressure by activist investors to offload the company, Genesco Inc. in 2018 sold Lids Sports Group for $100 million to FanzzLids Holdings, a holding company run by affiliates of Ames Watson Capital. (After buying Lids, Ames Watson this past May acquired fashion boutique South Moon Under for an undisclosed amount.)
"London is a natural fit for Lids," Britten Maughan, president of Lids, said in a statement. "The enthusiasm for both American sports and streetwear aligns with our on-field and fashion-focused hat and jersey assortment. We are excited to bring our brand and product to market."
But London isn't the only place where Lids set up shop this year. Lids began selling its licensed sports products from teams such as the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Raptors, and the Blue Jays in 45 shop-in-shops within DSW and The Shoe Company in cities like Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Lids is looking to "double down on its global footprint" heading into 2022, and the four locations in London are the first of many planned store openings.
"Expanding in the UK is our top priority at Lids," Lids CEO Tom Ripley said in a statement. "Lids has become one of the strongest retailers in North America and we're thrilled to take this growth internationally as we look to open 100+ standalone Lids stores in new markets."