Lids is launching a new retail concept dedicated to collegiate sports product and apparel.
Called Lids University (Lids U), the sports retailer will open 11 stores in 2022 in key college markets, with more to follow in 2023.
According to Lids, the concept was developed in response to consumers seeking more NCAA product from the retailer. The new concept will feature a “significant assortment” of NCAA product with a curated selection of men’s, women’s and children’s headwear, apparel and accessories from local, regional and national university and collegiate teams, Lids said.
The retailer added that Lids U stores will be opening in shopping malls and outlets in various states across the U.S. and will feature Custom Zones, which allow consumers the opportunity to custom-embroider a product of their choice. The stores will continue to carry apparel brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Fanatics, Retro Brand, Champion, Mitchell & Ness, and more, as well as headwear brands New Era and Zephyr.
“We understand that our customers wanted to see more collegiate products in our stores, and we’re proud to now offer a space for consumers to shop the latest looks from their favorite collegiate teams,” said Lawrence Berger, co-founder and partner at Ames Watson, the owner of Lids, and chairman of FanzzLids Holdings, said in a statement.
One of the first Lids U stores opened at Gurnee Mills shopping mall in Gurnee, Ill. on July 22. The store will offer products representing popular schools within the region as well as nationally, including Illinois State Redbirds, Loyola Chicago Ramblers, DePaul Blue Demons, Northwestern Wildcats, Southern Illinois Salukis, University of Chicago Maroons and more.
This opening was in conjunction of two other Lids U stores on July 22 at the Mall of Georgia in Buford, Ga. and at the San Marcos Premium Outlets in San Marcos, Texas.
Other Lids U stores opening this year include Castleton Square in Indianapolis, Ind.; Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, La.; Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, Ga.; Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala.; and the Tanger Outlets in Gonzales, La., Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and Mebane, N.C.
Lids U is the newest store format from the retailer continuously expanding brick-and-mortar global retail footprint, including team-specific stores with Yankees Clubhouse and Dodgers Clubhouse locations throughout the country. Lids also counts the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) as partners as it runs each league and team’s respective U.S. and international flagship store locations. To date, Lids operates nearly 1,200 stores throughout North America and Europe.
Last year, Lids expanded further with a new partnership with Designer Brands Inc. to bring licensed sports product to its stores throughout the country. The result will be Lids shop-in-shops in DSW and The Shoe Company doors, bolstering its presence in key cities including Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.