Affiliate Of Investment Holding Company Ames Watson Acquires Iconic Retail Chain, South Moon Under

COLUMBIA, Md., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of investment holding company Ames Watson is acquiring the iconic Annapolis-based retail…

COLUMBIA, Md., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of investment holding company Ames Watson is acquiring the iconic Annapolis-based retail chain, South Moon Under («SMU«). Ames Watson successfully turned around and has grown hat and licensed sports retailer Lids after acquiring it two years ago and will seek to do the same with South Moon Under.

Founded more than 50 years ago as a surf shop in Ocean City, Maryland, South Moon Under has become a differentiated leader offering an omni-channel shopping experience for casual women’s and men’s fashions, swimwear, accessories, and housewares. Through curated offerings, South Moon Under has developed a dedicated client base attracted to the latest offerings from name brand and indie designers, as well as its own in-house private labels. The retailer currently has 30 stores with locations that stretch from Connecticut to Florida. Additionally, South Moon Under has a dynamic and growing online retail store:

«We see a tremendous opportunity to grow a brand with high recognition into a national store with a local approach,» said Lawrence Berger, Co-Founder and Partner, Ames Watson. «There is a lot of untapped potential for expansion here while keeping the brand’s key values of an unparalleled in-store experience, a customer-first mentality, and on trend merchandising.»

«In every market that SMU operates, it is loved by mothers and daughters for its curated collection of fashion, swimwear and accessories.  Our customers know that every time they come into our stores, they will find interesting brands and exciting products.  We are thrilled to continue the 50-year legacy of SMU and bring our customers incredible new product» said Robyn Mohr, President of South Moon Under.

In addition to the retailer’s brick-and-mortar footprint, Ames Watson will run South Moon Under’s ecommerce business. Similar to the success they have had with leading sports retailer Lids since their takeover in 2019, Ames Watson will differentiate the product offerings between brick-and-mortar and online, including in-store exclusives.

This is the fourth retail acquisition by Ames Watson in less than three years following the acquisitions of Fanzz, Lids and the recently launched Fanatics Lids College. Lids is the largest brick and mortar retailer of licensed sports product in North America and has a fast-growing non-sports branded business. Under the leadership of Ames Watson, Lids has reached record sales, expanded to over 1,200 brick-and-mortar locations, expanded partnerships with the NBA, Los Angeles Dodgers, Macy’s, and Designer Brands.

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Laura Kepus (Ames Watson):

About Ames Watson:

Founded by Lawrence Berger and Tom Ripley in 2018, Ames Watson is a privately held holding company based in Columbia, Md. that purchases, transforms, and partners with companies to create long term value. Ames Watson brings know-how, problem solving, deep resources and experience to grow companies and move them past «inflection points.»  Ames Watson takes great pride in its partnership approach working closely with management teams to create value.

About South Moon Under:

South Moon Under is a fashion forward company that offers an eclectic mix of women’s and men’s clothing, swimwear, accessories, jewelry, and gifts for the home.  Sold in over 25 stores and online at, South Moon Under gives customers the opportunity to experience the excitement of artfully and confidently expressing their individual style.  For more information, visit

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SOURCE Ames Watson