Minot shoppers have a new option to turn to when it comes to stylish hats and caps.
LIDS opened in Dakota Square Mall Oct. 25 and offers a wide variety of hats and caps for professional sports teams in football, baseball, basketball and hockey, as well as collegiate sports teams. There are also some video game hats and hats in other fashion categories.
Wes Woodward, corporate communications specialist for LIDS Sports Group, said Minot is the fourth store in North Dakota for the company, with the other three in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks. Along with the United States, LIDS also has stores in Canada and Puerto Rico.
"This has been a growing company over the years. They got to 500 stores in less than a decade and we continue to move and get into different markets," Woodward said. "I think adding you guys is just another one of those examples of going and getting into someplace we weren't in before."
LIDS stores are generally based in malls or airports and come in a couple different configurations. LIDS Locker Room stores offer shirts and jerseys in addition to caps and hats, while a typical LIDS store like the one in Minot has mostly caps and hats, along with a few novelty items.
"It's a hat store. We are the ultimate hat store," Woodward said, noting they are up to more than 1,100 stores in total since being founded in 1995.
One of the more unique services LIDS offers is custom embroidery. A machine right on the sales floor can make just about any kind of custom embroidery a customer could want, and also allows customers to watch as their item is embroidered.
"You can personalize your cap. If you wanted to get your name or your number on the back of it, you can do that. There's a variety of stock designs that you can pick from to personalize your hat," Woodward said. "There's blank hats, too, so you can design your own cap. You can have your own fantasy football team or whatever you want to put on it."
The store celebrated opening its doors with several grand opening festivities, including some giveaways. There was a DJ in the store for several hours on Saturday and free LIDS Club cards, a store reward and benefits card, were given away, as well.
Woodward said the grand opening went well, with some brisk business and a lot of custom embroidery.
Minot's substantial growth and booming economy have brought many new businesses into the area, and LIDS is no exception. It also probably helped that one of LIDS' founders is from North Dakota.
Scott Molander is a native of Crosby and graduated from Dickinson State University. Woodward noted that in one of the LIDS meeting rooms that has chairs with logos from many different colleges around the country, there is a chair with the University of North Dakota logo on it.
"Him being from North Dakota, he's not going to forget North Dakota," Woodward said. "But I think with Minot being the size of town that it is and the airport isn't too far away, too, (Minot) kind of catches our core group or demographic. I think it was a natural fit."