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Lids acquiring Kentucky sporting goods chain

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A Kentucky-based string of sporting goods clothing stores has been acquired by Lids Sports Group, a national chain based in Indianapolis.

Members of the Dawahare family sold Lexington-based Fan Outfitters last week for an undisclosed price. The deal includes the three Fan Outfitters stores in Lexington, two in Louisville, and two in Oklahoma and the company's online presence.

Fan Outfitters co-founder Stephen Dawahare told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the new owners have kept on all the Fan Outfitters employees. Dawahare says Lids Sports Group is positioned to grow the Fan Outfitters brand.

Lids operates more than 1,000 retail stores across the country and in Canada and Puerto Rico. It is a subsidiary of Genesco Inc., a publicly traded company based in Nashville.

Dawahare, the CEO of iVisionary, a private equity firm that helped fund Fan Outfitters, said new regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act prompted the group to look at the offer from Lids. The group thought that company would be better positioned to grow the Fan Outfitters brand, he said.

Fan Outfitters had several previous offers to buy the operation but turned them down, Dawahare said.

"The unfortunate fact is that due to a number of policies that have been implemented recently, it has become tougher to grow businesses," Dawahare said.

Fan Outfitters grew out of the Dawahare's department stores, a longtime Kentucky retailer that, at its height, had 31 stores across the state from Pikeville to Paducah. The last of the Dawahare stores closed in 2008.

In 2009, two Dawahare cousins partnered with former University of Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch to start Fan Outfitters. Their first store opened in Lexington that September.

"The business was doing extremely well," Dawahare said.

Ken Kocher, president of Lids Sports Group, said in a written statement that Fan Outfitters fit the group's overall strategy to build national retail sports clothing stores that cater to local fans.

"This acquisition allows us to immediately build on the relationship that both Fan Outfitters and Lids brand have established with Kentucky, Louisville and Oklahoma fans," Kocher said.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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