Lax World's New Owners Plan To Expand Retail Chain Amid Sport's Growing Popularity
The new owners of Maryland-based lacrosse retailer Lax World plan to "ride the sport's mushrooming popularity to rapidly expand the small retail chain and establish it as the go-to brand for lacrosse gear nationwide," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the Baltimore SUN. Lax World CEO Frank Barbarino, a former Senior VP/Merchandising for Jos. A. Bank, and his partners bought the chain from founder Jim Darcangelo in August "for an undisclosed price." His partners include COO Bobby Martino, who has "been with Lax World for 23 years, most recently" as VP; and Exec VP/Inventory Management and stores Michael Stewart, a former Jos. A. Bank VP/Planning. Lax World currently operates five stores in Maryland, with "a half dozen spread in Virginia, Georgia and Colorado." The owners plan to "open 40 to 50 stores, both in existing and new markets, in the next five to six years." They also want to "improve the website to increase online sales and expand the wholesale business, which now accounts for about 45 percent of sales and targets lacrosse programs and teams" (Baltimore SUN, 9/10).