Genesco ‘Sharpens’ Lids, Sells Team Sports Division To BSN Sports

Genesco Inc. President, Chairman and CEO Robert Dennis continues to up his efforts to turn around the company’s once-struggling Lids Sports Group.

Genesco announced Tuesday that it has sold Lids Team Sports, part of Lids Sports Group, to sporting-goods marketer and distributor BSN Sports.

Joining with BSN Sports, an industry leader, will provide new resources and expanded opportunities and is a very positive step for Lids Team Sports and its employees,” Dennis said in a release. “Importantly, the transaction also allows Genesco’s Lids Sports Group to sharpen its strategic focus on its core business, giving full attention to execution and realizing the growth potential in retail and omnichannel, which will benefit the Lids Sports Group and Genesco going forward.”

Lids Team Sports, one of several brands operating under the Lids Sports Group umbrella, sells athletic apparel and equipment to schools and youth sport programs across the U.S.

Following the merger, Adam Blumenfeld, CEO of BSN Sports, will serve as CEO of the combined entity. Scott Molander, who currently heads Lids Team Sports’ operations, will join BSN Sports, along with all of Lids Team Sports’ employees, the company said.

The combination of BSN Sports and Lids Team Sports is excellent news for our employees, our vendors and, most importantly, for our customers,” Blumenfeld said. “Our objective is to empower customers with more convenience and better service. We welcome Lids Team Sports employees to the BSN Sports family and look forward to working side-by-side with them to deliver on our commitment to customer excellence.”

The company added that no near-term changes are planned for customers, vendors, employees or business partners.

While Lids had pressured Genesco’s earnings for multiple quarters, the hatmaker has recently started showing comeback potential, posting a 12 percent gain in comparable sales in Q3, reported on Dec. 4.

On Jan. 11, Genesco preannounced Q4 earnings and said sales at Lids climbed 5 percent in that quarter. At that time, Dennis asserted that he was set to make “a final, aggressive push” to liquidate excess inventory by yearend at the division.

Although the terms of the BSN and Lids Teams Sports transaction were not disclosed, Genesco simultaneously announced that its board of directors has authorized a repurchase of up to $100 million of the company’s common stock. Proceeds from the Lids Team Sports sale will be the main source of funds for incremental repurchases under the new authorization, the company said.

At press time, Genesco’s share price was up 0.05 percent in after market trading.

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