July 23, 2012, 4:01 PM

Hat World puts another retailer under its cap

Hat World’s Lids Sports Group is buying JAS Sports.  

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Lids is buying JAS Sports, a store and online retailer of licensed team apparel.

Lids Sports Group, the licensed sports team headwear and accessories retail arm of Hat World Inc., has been hungry for acquisitions over the years. And now Lids has satisfied that appetite once more with the acquisition of JAS Sports Inc., a Seattle store and online retailer of licensed apparel from local and professional teams such as the baseball Mariners and football Seahawks.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but Lids and Hat World, No. 391 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500 will take over the operation of nine stores, mobile concession operations near sports stadiums Safeco Field and Century Link Field and multiple e-commerce sites, including Wazzugear.com, Soundersgear.com, Thedawgden.com and Seattleteams.com.

“In looking for growth opportunities with added value for our retail division,we found the JAS Sports portfolio to be a great fit that not only met our business criteria but our multichannel customer experience model as well,” says Lids sports group president Ken Kocher. “We have expanded the scope of our reach in the greater Seattle area with this addition.”

When the acquisition is complete, Lids will introduce JAS shoppers to its customer loyalty program whereby members earn purchase points that they can redeem for rewards such as exclusive discounts and promotional offers, and access to special products and events.

The purchase of JAS is the fifth in two years by Hat World and Lids. In 2011 Hat World purchased sporting goods retailer Buckeye Corner for an undisclosed sum. Acquisitions in 2010 included Sports Avenue, based in Rock Island, IL, a niche retailer of licensed team merchandising; Brand Athletics Inc., a team apparel and equipment dealer, custom screen printer and embroidery operator based in Tigard, OR; and Sports Fan-Attic, a multichannel retailer of sportswear and accessories, which operates stores in seven southern states.

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