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Expanding Hat Maker Gives Tip 'O the Lid to Hoosier Business Climate

Hoosier-Grown Firm Announces Major Expansion In Zionsville and Indy
January 15, 2014
Hat World, Inc., a retailer and manufacturer of hats and sports apparel, will expand its headquarters and distribution operations in central Indiana.

The company, which does business as LIDS Sports Group, will spend $21.77 million to build and equip a 150,000-square-foot headquarters office at the Creekside Corporate Park in Zionsville, IN.

The company will also lease more than 600,000 square feet of additional warehouse space in Indianapolis. The expansion will create up to 758 new jobs over the next 11 years, according to a release by Gov. Mike Pence.

There's apparently been no lid on Hat World's growth over the last decade. The company has more than 1,000 employees in Indiana and more than 9,000 retail employees across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

The company now operates out of 225,000 square feet of leased space in Park 100 and another 285,000 leased square feet on 76th street on the northwest side of Indianapolis. It will begin relocating its headquarters to Zionsville and filling 300 new administrative, finance, human resource and business development positions in late 2015 or early 2016.

Hat World, an Indiana-based company since opening its first store in Lafayette in 1995, also plans to begin hiring new manufacturing, distribution and warehouse workers in Indianapolis in the third quarter of this year.

Central Indiana "offers the ideal location and business climate for us to operate from," said Ken Kocher, president of LIDS Sports Group.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Hat World, Inc. up to $3.4 million in tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. Until employees are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

In addition, the IEDC will 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 and incentives.

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