The Plymouth based Michigan Lacrosse Store offers a wide range of lacrosse equipment for men and women, boys and girls. But the training center makes this a store with a lot more. Michigan Lacrosse is located on Gotfredson and North Territorial Roads in Plymouth and is owned and operated by two local lacrosse families; Gene and Sandy Pulice and Mike and Lisa Birney.
I had a chance to talk about the store, the growth of the game and the training center with Lisa Birney:
How did you get the idea to start the business back in 2007?
Sandy's husband, Gene, started a lacrosse program at our sons' school when they were in 5th grade. That was in 2005, and at that time, to order equipment we had to drive an hour away, or order it on-line. My son did not like to order on-line, because he liked to see the equipment first. So Sandy and I decided to open a lacrosse store, THE MICHIGAN LACROSSE STORE, on this side of town. We both love the sport of lacrosse - Sandy's son played lacrosse from 5th - 12th grade. All four of my children play lacrosse, and I love to watch their games.
What are the challenges now as compared to five or six years ago?
When we first opened THE MICHIGAN LACROSSE STORE, we sold a lot of high end equipment. Since then, the economy has changed and we sell more of the low-end equipment. Our biggest competitor is the internet. We try to promote to customers that our prices are very competitive, and if you come into our store you actually get to try on the equipment before you purchase it. Most players receive a team discount off of all equipment if we have a relationship with their schools lacrosse program.
What separates Michigan Lacrosse from your competitors?
Sandy and I are the owners of THE MICHIGAN LACROSSE STORE, and we take great pride in our family owned business. Sandy and I handle all customer accounts, and we are able to give specialized, superb customer service. We offer all the top name brands of equipment, apparel and uniforms, but we are still able to keep that "family store feeling" where customers can come in and get special attention. We can fit all players from head to toe with equipment, uniforms and apparel.
The training center is a great feature, how did that come about?
When we opened, we tried to think of what would draw the players to our store - what would set us apart from the other lacrosse stores. That is when we came up with the training center idea. We have the only indoor, turf lacrosse training center where the kids can come in and shoot around, bounce off the walls and clock the speed of their shot with our radar gun. We also rent out our training room out to local teams of all sports. The training center is attached to our lacrosse retail store. There is a waiting room for parents and the center has gotten rave reviews from coaches.
Have you seen the growth of the game from an equipment / retail standpoint?
The sport of lacrosse is certainly growing at a fast pace. Our local high schools used to have unified teams, now all three high schools have their own teams for men and women’s lacrosse. Players are starting as early as the third grade now. In the past players sometimes did not pick up a lacrosse stick and play until high school. I think the economy has hurt us a little, but we have been open six years and we continue to grow. We still rely heavily on "word of mouth" from other coaches and customers. So we are always striving to "please" our customers.
Any other information about the store that you would like to share?
Coaches and/or parents can call us and set-up a "Team Night or DAY". Any player that comes in from their team that day will receive a substantial Team Discount on all equipment.
If you are in the neighborhood or even if you make a special trip – check out The Michigan Lacrosse Store and be sure to visit the Training Center.
Store Hours are:
Mon & Wed: 11am - 9pm
Tues & Thurs: 2pm - 9pm
Fri & Sat: 11am - 6pm
For more information go to: www.michigan-lax.com