An affiliate of investment holding company Ames Watson is acquiring the Annapolis, MD-based surf chain, South Moon Under (SMU).

Ames Watson said it 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, MD, South Moon Under offers casual women’s and men’s fashions, swimwear, accessories, and housewares. The mix includes name brand and indie designers and in-house private labels. The retailer currently has 30 stores with locations from Connecticut to Florida. South Moon Under also has an 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, South Moon Under.

In addition to the retailer’s brick & mortar footprint, Ames Watson will run South Moon Under’s e-commerce business.

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.

Photo courtesy SMU