January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Hats Off To This Kiosk Concept

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Lids Corp. has unveiled 14 Internet kiosks at locations in Massachusetts, California, Georgia, Oregon and Washington. These new e-Centers provide customers "immediate" virtual access to an inventory of more than 50,000 hats. Hats ordered through the e-Centers will be shipped out within 24 hours to customer's homes or, starting in September, any Lids bricks-and-mortar store across the country. The Westwood, Mass.-based company plans to rollout a total of 125 e-Centers by mid-September.

Lids expects that 750,000 hats alone will come from combined sales at the lids.com web site and the new e-Centers. And the company's HeadFirst loyalty program has 1.5 million members nationwide, it says.

Lids also offers the Lids Card, which serves as a pre-paid debit card that can be recharged as needed and used for both online and offline purchases.

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