May 28, 2010, 1:48 PM

Hat World acquires niche retailer Sports Avenue

The deal is Hat World's second acquisition in May.

Hat World Inc. continues to diversify its multichannel base with its second acquisition this month.

Hat World, No. 381 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has acquired the assets of Sports Avenue, which operates 46 stores and 13 e-commerce sites. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Sports Avenue, based in Rock Island, IL, is a niche retailer of licensed team merchandising. The retailer, which Hat World says generates annual sales of about $42 million, operates web stores that sell licensed apparel and related items for the Universities of Kentucky and Washington, AllState Sugar Bowl, New York Jets and others.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

The acquisition of Sports Avenue by Hat World, a unit of Genesco Inc., is the unit’s second this month. On May 10, Hat World acquired Brand Athletics Inc., a team apparel and equipment dealer, custom screen printer and embroidery operator. The purchase price not disclosed.

Brand Athletics will operate as part of Hat World’s recently rebranded Lids Team Sports division, which sells sports uniform and related apparel and offers custom embroidery services.

The acquisition includes Brand Athletics’ corporate office, distribution center, production assets, and nine-state sales territory of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

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