Hat World plans include new HQ, hiring 758 workers

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Hat World Inc. announced Friday morning that it is moving its headquarters from Indianapolis to Zionsville as part of a $22 million expansion that is expected to create 758 jobs by 2025.

Hat World, which manufactures apparel and operates 1,000 stores nationwide under the Lids brand, said it will construct and equip a 150,000-square-foot headquarters office at Creekside Corporate Park in Zionsville.

The company also will lease more than 600,000 square feet of additional warehouse space in Indianapolis. Hat World now operates out of 225,000 square feet of leased space in Park 100 on the city’s northwest side, and another 285,000 square feet of leased space on West 76th Street.

Of the jobs Hat World is expected to create, about 300 of those will be filled in late 2015 or early 2016 and include administrative, finance, human resources and business development positions.

Hat World will begin hiring for manufacturing, distribution and warehouse jobs in the third quarter of this year, the company said.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will offer Hat World up to $3.4 million in conditional tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. In addition, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. will provide Zionsville with up to $250,000 in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund.

Hat World is the parent company of Lids Sports Group, which includes Lids retail headwear stores, Lids Clubhouse retail outlets and the Lids Locker Room specialty fan retail chain.

Hat World is owned by Tennessee-based Genesco Inc. Lids accounted for 30 percent of Genesco’s $2.6 billion in sales in the fiscal year that ended in February 2013.

This story will be updated.


  • This is one reason
    I am an ex employee of Hat World HQ. It's a wonderful place to work with fair wages. I can only speak highly of this place and am very happy and excited to see them finally keep their word and move into a larger establishment. I believe a major factoring, minus the money for them choosing Zionsville is because the CEO is from Zionsville. Understandably, he wanted it a minute down the road along with putting money back into his hometown.
  • Southside
    Exactly, there is a reason there are very, very, very few offices on the Southside. Why would anyone want to work down there??
  • Well said
    I'm sure a majority of their current employees live withing 20-30 minutes of their current office. How many of them would want to drive to Franklin or Decatur Twps?
  • Have a clue, thank you
    Read the article...the HQ is moving to Zionsville, company still has distribution facilities in Indy.
  • Get a clue people!
    Do some of you not even know what Hat World does? They are a massive distributor of athletic apparel, they need a large distribution center, and massive amounts of space. They can't just move into any old office space, Woodfield Crossing is an awful idea, that's an office building, not a distribution center. While I agree I'd like to see them stay local, this only open up their current space for another business to expand into! And without tax incentives we would lose this company and it's jobs to another state and area entirely! Distribution centers need space and direct access to the highway, and that means they need large amount of cheap land. I'm just glad they found a spot in Z-ville instead of relocating outside the state. And would you please come off this argument that tax incentives go to the rich! Rich people are rich because they're SUCCESSFUL, which isn't illegal, immoral, or unethical. And the incentives and based on job creation, they don't just get a fat check for general operating expenses and a golf membership. It's tax dollars being directly invested into new employees, which EXPANDS the tax base and thus generates more long term tax revenue! Can anyone ever just be happy that this is good news and not find a freakin reason to complain all the time!
    • Not moving far
      This company isn't currently located in the "inner city" or "downtown." It is located about 4 miles away from where it plans to relocate. It is great for this company to take into consideration the current employees and where their homes are located when determining where to relocate. The vast majority of the current employees live north and west of Marion County, and this new location will not have an adverse impact on their commute like a move further into Marion County would.
      • A couple of thoughts
        First off, this is great news. Any time a company is growing and expanding, that's great. I also have no problems with the state offering them tax reductions. I fully support that. But I do have a problem with them moving to the 'burbs when there are plenty of office spaces downtown and in nearby areas.. Heck, on the IBJ homepage there is an article about how 2 of the Woodfield Crossing office buildings just sold, and how they have quite a lot of vacancy. These are beautiful buildings just off Keystone Ave on the north side, and just south of 465. Thats a great location for a business... But no, they need a sexy, new, expensive building out in Zionsville... I'm sure the vacant offices in Indy would cost less than half of what they're going to pay out in Z. Just my thoughts.....
      • Re:Moving
        PJ, there is plenty of land still available in Marion County that would neither require demolition or environmental cleanup. Decatur and Franklin townships are still very rural with several square miles of open land available for development. Franklin township would love additional commercial development to offset their residential property taxes. Just doesn't seem to be a priority for the city / county though.
      • Incentives
        I own a very successful business in Indianapolis that performs 90% of our work outside the state and 60% overseas. I don't think ANY business should receive ANY tax incentives such as this. All businesses need to sink or swim on their own merits. Our lowest paid employees make over $35K plus bonuses and we don't ask for the state to give us breaks. We spend over $50K each year in promotions and advertising to bring this business back to Indiana and we don't ask for the state to give us breaks.
      • Rob fro the poor
        And again we use tax dollars to help a wealthy company. and for this we get removal of jobs from the inner city (where they are needed) and sent to a wealthy suburb with our help. Oh yes then there are the alleged jobs that will be created
      • Not where headquarters belong
        I, too, am disappointed that they are choosing to locate in the suburbs rather than the central core. This is a corporate headquarters, filled with businesspeople. They belong downtown, where business happens. The growing generation wants to live and work in the city, not the suburbs. Unfortunately this will be just another deserted suburban office park in twenty years.
      • Tax credits help keep growing companies in Indiana
        Joe, what's wrong with giving conditional tax incentives to a company that's creating over 750 new jobs? The credits are conditional upon the job creation and other factors. Further, Genesco could have decided to move Hat World's operations out of the state completely depriving IN of existing and future jobs.
      • Moving
        Joe, it may be dissappointing, but unfortunately land and development costs outside of Indianapolis are much less expensive. There are almost zero acres available that wouldn't require demolition of an existing building or cleanup of a brownfield. It would have been great if the City of Indianapolis could have worked with them on additional incentives to stay in Indy in conjunction with the state incentives that were provided.
        • Job Growth
          Joe, They are getting tax credits because they are growing their business in two ways that benefit the state/city. 1. Job growth, more people to pay taxes. 2. Expanding their foot print which results in more property taxes.
        • Disappointing
          It is unfortunate to hear that a headquarters is leaving Indy. What is even more disappointing is that the state is giving tax subsidies for a company to relocate within the state...........seems like a great use.

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