US sportswear giant Lids opens store in Plymouth’s Drake Circus shopping center

US sportswear giant Lids has opened a store in Plymouth’s Drake Circus shopping center where sports fans can personalize hats and vests with the names of their favorite teams and players. The store, located in the Upper Mall, is the chain’s first in the South West following its UK expansion at the end of 2021.

Lids Inc was founded in 1993 and now has over 1,000 outlets across the United States. But it is now expanding globally and opened stores in London in December, quickly followed by outlets in Brighton, Gateshead, Warrington and Milton Keynes.

The Plymouth store, in the corner unit of the British Land-owned mall next to iSmart, houses a huge range of licensed and branded merchandise including jerseys, accessories and, of course, covers -heads. Working ‘lid’ is slang for a hat and the Plymouth store has around 1,000.

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In addition to offering officially licensed merchandise from major American League teams in the MLB (baseball), NBA (basketball) and NFL (American football), the store also offers merchandise from well-known fashion brands. well-known brands such as Nike, Adidas and New Era. The store will also feature Lids’ Custom Zone, which allows consumers to custom embroider a hat or garment of their choice in-store, including from the retailer’s many player number and autograph options.

Greg Lumley, Center Manager at Drake Circus, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome the international Lids brand to Drake Circus as it continues its expansion into the UK. With a great selection of licensed hats, apparel and more, I’m sure it will be popular with our sports-loving visitors.

The arrival of the lids means that another vacancy has been filled in the mall, and new arrivals are expected to arrive. Cosmetics retailer Superdrug is due to move into a large unit on the mall’s ground floor in July 2022.

The new Lids US sportswear store in the Upper Mall of Drake Circus Mall

Inside the Lids store in Plymouth’s Drake Circus shopping center

A custom embroidered baseball cap at Lids

It will fill a unit created from two smaller spaces, freed up when Carphone Warehouse closed during the Covid pandemic and Clintons card seller moved to a smaller unit on Charles Street just outside the mall in January 2022. There are only two empty units left on it. level: part of the former Mothercare store, which was spun off and saw Lush split into one half, and the former newsagents McCall’s.

In the upper mall, the large former Topshop unit is still empty, as is a unit between BOSS and Boux Avenue, but Plymouth Live understands it’s being studied by a national fashion brand. The future of Bill’s unit is unclear as the restaurant has not reopened post Covid but it is not listed as vacant on the Drake Circus website.

On the top floor, the former restaurant Cafe Curva remains unoccupied. The restaurant, which also had an outdoor terrace, had been run by the famous Hajiyianni family, which also owns the city’s New Continental Hotel and other restaurants, since the mall opened in late 2016. But in January, it was closed when the directors of Cafe Curva decided not to continue the lease when it expired so that they could focus on other business ventures.

Lids was founded in Boston by friends Douglass Karp and Ben Fischman in 1993 and was acquired by Hat World Inc in 2001. The company was later acquired, in 2004, by shoe retailer Genesco Inc which sold Hat World to a joint venture between Ames Watson, LLC. and Fanatics Inc in 2019, the same year rapper Meek Mill acquired a stake.

It has since grown into a billion-dollar company and now operates nearly 2,000 outlets in the United States and Canada, including the flagships of the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association in New York. . It sells 30 million hats – mostly baseball caps – every year.

Britten Maughan, President of Lids Sports Group, said, “Lids is thrilled to bring American sports and fashion to Drake Circus. We offer a large assortment of hats and jerseys and carry the world’s best brands. We are proud to offer over 1,000 hat options and unique customization experiences to our consumers.

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James T. Quintero