Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

January 14, 2014

Hats off: LIDS to expand

Company announces expansion project

By Brenda L. Holmes brenda.holmes@flyergroup.com
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — LIDS Sports Group is once again expanding its business and employee base in central Indiana. The announcement came Friday from President Ken Kocher at the company’s Indianapolis westside headquarters.

“The LIDS Sports Group has called Indiana our home since it first began in Lafayette,” Kocher said. “I’m here today to announce we will be building a 150,000 square foot building in Zionsville for our new headquarters. We will also be expanding our warehouse facility here on West 76th Street to more than 600,000 square feet.”

LIDS Sports Group owns and operates 1,000 Hat World retail stores. The company was founded in 1995. It currently operates out of 225,000 square feet of leased space in Park 100 and another 285,000 square feet of leased space on West 76th Street.

“Today, LIDS Sports Group is a leading omni-channel sports licensed retailer that caters to fans and athletes across North America and central Indiana offers the ideal location and business climate for us to operate from,” Kocher said.

He said the company had been on a search for a home for its new headquarters for several months before deciding on Zionsville. The company will be the first tenants of the Creekside Corporate Park.

“The area is suitable for a distribution facility and staying here will not disrupt our employees,” Kocher said.

LIDS Sports Group has more than 1,000 associates in Indiana and more than 9,000 retail associates across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. They will soon begin relocating the headquarters to Zionsville and filling about 300 new administrative, finance, human resources, and business development positions in late 2015 and ’16.

Kocher was joined in the announcement by Gov. Mike Pence, Mayor Greg Ballard, and Jeff Papa, president of the Zionsville Town Council.

“This will mean 750 new jobs to Indianapolis and Zionsville,” Pence said. “This company has such a good success story. LIDS found a hole in the market place and now has more than 1,000 retail stores.”

He said this kind of business growth comes from good business leaders and good employees.

“Our strength does not come from those in authority and power,” he said. “The strength comes from the people working in the businesses today. This is a great start to 2014.”

Ballard said he had been at the LIDS Sports Group headquarters for two previous announcements.

“I’m proud to say I’ve been here three times now and I'm looking forward to the fourth,” Ballard said. “You keep doing the right things to expand your business. You're doing such a good job and have an experienced team.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered LIDS Sports Group up to $3,400,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants, based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC will also provide the community with up to $250,000 in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund.

The Town of Zionsville will consider additional tax abatement incentives.