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Leading sports retailer Lids is partnering with Designer Brands, one of North America's largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories, to bring licensed sports product to its stores in Canada for the first time.
With this new partnership, Lids, which currently boasts 130 storefronts throughout Canada, will have shop-in-shop concept stores coast to coast in 45 Canadian locations of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and The Shoe Company, including Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. These shop-in-shop formats will range from impactful headwear displays to mini shops that include licensed jerseys.
"At Lids, we're always looking for new ways to bring our unparalleled assortment of licensed sports apparel and headwear to more customers," said Lawrence Berger, co-founder and partner at Ames Watson and Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings which is the owner of Lids. "Designer Brands offers a one-stop-shop for footwear and accessory needs and we're looking forward to complementing that with Lids' diverse offerings to better serve Canadian customers."
Product will primarily include licensed headwear and jerseys, with an emphasis on gear representing top Canadian sports teams including the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Raptors, and the Blue Jays . Product assortment will include a variety of branded hats plus a robust team mix of licensed headwear. This new partnership also encompasses online sales with Lids product available on each store's respective website – dsw.ca and theshoecompany.ca – moving forward.
"We are thrilled to partner with Lids on the roll-out of store-in-store boutiques offering licensed sports merchandise to local fan communities across the country," said Mary Turner, President of Designer Brands Operations in Canada. "We believe that Lids' merchandise provides great synergies with our growing athletics assortments while allowing us to tap into a younger customer demographic."
The announcement with Designer Brands follows a breakout year for Lids that saw the company add 70 stores during the COVID pandemic and cement an international expansion agreement with the NBA. Lids continues to be the largest headwear retailer in North America, with over 28 million sold per year across their 1,200 locations. Beyond hats, Lids is the largest brick and mortar retailer of licensed sports product in North America and has a fast-growing non-sports branded business.
The first in-store shop-in-shop concept between Lids and Designer Brands will launch on May 15 along with the online assortment.
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