UK is ‘strategic’ in Lids’ major 100+ international store expansion plan
North American sportswear retail giant Lids is on a major international physical store expansion drive and has chosen the UK for its first standalone stores in Europe.
Looking to open 100-plus Lids stores in new markets in 2022, Lids has chosen its first four locations in England. The Seven Dials store in London’s Covent Garden has just opened, while the 02 Peninsula Square in Greenwich, Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, and Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton stores all open this month.
Lids, which operates nearly 2,000 stores throughout the US and Canada, said choosing the UK, and particularly London, as its initial destinations of choice reflected how “strategically important” the regions were to its plans.
Theses store openings “are the first of many” planned from Lids heading into 2022 as the retailer looks to “double down” on its global footprint, it confirmed.
“Expanding in the UK is our top priority,” said Tom Ripley, CEO of Lids and partner/co-founder at Ames Watson, the parent company.
Lids president Britten Maughan also added: "London is a natural fit for Lids. The enthusiasm for both American sports and streetwear aligns with our on-field and-fashion focused hat and jersey assortment. There has already been great success with the London NBA store operated by Lids since its opening earlier this year, and we are excited to introduce standalone Lids stores to an even larger audience of British customers.”
Each of the four new stores mirror the “immersive shopping experience of extensive licensed and branded merchandise sportswear Lids has”, it said. Product at each store will include a “vast” assortment of major US league team product from MLB, NFL, and NBA, among others, as well as items from brands including Adidas, New Era Cap, '47, Mitchell & Ness, Hurley, Oakley, and Local Crowns.
Each will also feature Lids' signature Custom Zones, which allows consumers the opportunity to custom embroider a hat or apparel piece of their choice in-store, including from the retailer's numerous options of player numbers and autographs.
News of this international growth follows the retailer's growth into a billion-dollar business since being acquired by Ames Watson in 2019.
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