Hat World set for expansion with investment and jobs

January 29, 2014 by  

Hat World, a sports apparel manufacturer doing business as LIDS Sports Group, has announced it will be expanding its corporate headquarters, as well as its Indiana distribution operations.

It was revealed on January 10 that the company will invest $21.77m in this effort, which could add as many as 758 jobs in the Hoosier State by 2025.

Hat World, which was founded in 1995, has grown to the point where it has more than 9,000 retailers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Ken Kocher, who is president of LIDS Sports Group, called Hat World an “Indiana-based company”, and said he has considered it such since it opened its first location in Lafayette, Indiana in 1995.

At present, Hat World leases over a half-million square feet in Indianapolis, 225,000 square feet in Park 100, and an additional 285,000 square feet on the city’s northwest side. When it expands this time, Hat World will lease over 600,000 square feet of warehousing space in the city, and it also plans to construct and equip an office building in Zionsville, about 17 miles from Indianapolis. The new facility will comprise 150,000 square feet.

Hat World plans to hire approximately 300 workers for administrative positions in the new Zionsville office late in 2015 and 2016. The company will also hire people to work in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution positions in Indianapolis proper, and it will begin these developments in the third quarter of 2014.

Indianapolis officials could work with brochure printers to create a mailer describing Hat World’s actions and the city’s pool of qualified employees, and inviting other companies to look at Indiana as a base of operations.