North American sports retailer Lids has launched a retail concept dedicated to collegiate sports products and apparel.
The Lids University (Lids U) concept was created in response to loyal Lids consumers seeking more National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) products from the retailer.
The retail space will open in shopping malls and outlets in key college markets across various US states, providing products unique to the market it serves.
Lids U will offer a range of NCAA products, including headwear, apparel and accessories from local, regional and national university and collegiate teams.
Each store will also feature Lids’ signature Custom Zones, in which customers can custom-embroider products of their choice in-store.
In addition to extensive licensed and branded merchandise from Lids, the stores will offer products from Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Fanatics, Retro Brand, Champion, Colosseum, Cutter & Buck, Antigua, Mitchell & Ness and other major brands.
It will also sell assortments from Wincraft, Tervis, Indigo Falls and headwear brands New Era and Zephyr.
Lids opened one of the first Lids U stores at Gurnee Mills shopping mall in Gurnee, Illinois, on 22 July.
The store offers products from major schools both within the region and nationwide.
Lids plans to expand the concept to more than 11 stores this year, before opening more Lids U stores from next year.
The retailer currently operates nearly 1,200 stores across North America and Europe.
Lids co-founder Lawrence Berger said: “This is an exciting moment for Lids as we officially open a new store concept dedicated to collegiate sports fans across the country.
“We understand that our customers wanted to see more collegiate products in our stores, and we’re proud to now offer a space for consumers to shop the latest looks from their favourite collegiate teams.”
In December last year, Lids opened its first standalone stores in Europe as part of its international physical store footprint expansion plans.