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Hat World acquires 37-store Sports Fan-Attic chain

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Locally based Hat World Inc. has agreed to acquire a popular 37-store athletic retail chain in hopes of doing for collegiate and professional sports licensed apparel what Hat World did for headwear.

Tampa-based Sports Fan-Attic Inc. operates stores in seven southern states and last year posted revenue of about $30 million.

Executives at Hat World and its parent company, Nashville, Tenn.-based Genesco Inc., see the potential to grow the concept into a nationwide powerhouse, both with new stores and by acquiring other regional players in the fragmented market.

The company likely was gearing up for such a move earlier this year when it acquired two companies that produce and market team uniforms and apparel, Wisconsin-based Impact Sports Inc. and Minnesota-based Great Plains Sports.

"Our ambition is to build a national chain with the same scale-based advantages that Hat World enjoys today," Genesco CEO Robert J. Dennis said in a statement announcing the deal for Sports Fan-Attic. Terms were not disclosed.

The bid for growth will face a challenge from athletic shoe retailers The Finish Line Inc., based in Indianapolis, and New York-based Foot Locker Inc., both of which offer a wide assortment of apparel along with footwear. 

Hat World was founded in 1995 in Indianapolis, and acquired its largest competitor, Lids Corp., in 2001. Retail giant Genesco paid $175 million for the company in 2004, and it has continued to grow under the publicly traded company. Today it operates more than 850 locations across the U.S.

Sports Fan-Attic is a "natural addition to Hat World's business," Hat World President Kenneth Kocher said in a statement.

"Our businesses appeal to the same core customer with products from a vendor base that overlaps considerably, and we share an approach to merchandising that focuses on tailoring a store's product selection to the local market," Kocher said.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

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  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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