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Hat World Invests $21.8 Million To Expand Headquarters-Distribution Center In Central Indiana

Hat World, Inc., doing business as LIDS Sports Group, a retailer and manufacturer of hats and sports apparel, will invest $21.8 million to expand its headquarters and distribution operations in central Indiana, creating up to 758 new jobs by 2025.

The company will to construct and equip a 150,000 square-foot office to house its headquarters at the Creekside Corporate Park in Zionsville, as well as lease more than 600,000 square feet of additional warehouse space in Indianapolis. Hat World currently operates out of 225,000 square feet of leased space in Park 100 and another 285,000 square feet of leased space on 76th street on the northwest side of Indianapolis.

The firm will begin relocating its headquarter operations to Zionsville and filling approximately 300 new administrative, finance, human resource and business development positions in late 2015 or early 2016. Also, the company plans to begin hiring new manufacturing, distribution and warehouse associates in Indianapolis in the third quarter of this year.

"Hat World, Inc. has been an Indiana-based company since we opened our first Hat World store in Lafayette in 1995," said Ken Kocher, President of LIDS Sports Group. "Today, LIDS Sports Group is a leading omni-channel sports licensed retailer that caters to fans and athletes across North America and central Indiana offers the ideal location and business climate for us to operate from."

"Today's announcement continues to prove why Indiana is the best state in the nation to start or grow a business," said Gov. Mike Pence. "Hat World took hats to new heights here in the Hoosier State when it turned a creative idea into a business that today can be found in malls across the nation. With our pro-growth business environment, we provide a low cost of doing business and talented workforce that help companies like Hat World succeed, making Indiana a state that works."

"Hat World has seen tremendous growth in the past decade and I'm happy to see them continue to grow here in Indy," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "As the company continues to grow, the expansion of their manufacturing and distribution operations in Indy shows a confidence in our workforce and our central location to support their ever-growing production needs."

"As the Crossroads of America, Indy is uniquely positioned for success in the manufacturing and distribution industries," said Brian Gildea, Vice President and Executive Director of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber. "Hat World's decision to further expand their manufacturing and warehousing operations in Indianapolis takes advantage of this unique position and brings more jobs to our qualified workforce."

As an incentive, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Hat World, Inc. 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. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers 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. Also, the city of Indianapolis supports the project at the request of Develop Indy.

"Zionsville could not be happier regarding this announcement. We are very proud that Hat World will call Zionsville its home," said Jeff Papa, President of the Zionsville Town Council.

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