Lakeshore Equipment Company aims to make learning fun. Through
nearly 60 Lakeshore Learning Stores in 28 states, the company sells
educational toys and classroom tools, including art supplies,
games, learning kits, textbooks, and teacher resource packets. It
also offers products that address multicultural learning
environments and special needs children, as well as in-store
teacher workshops. In addition to its store network, Lakeshore
markets learning materials via its mail-order catalogs and website.
Ethelyn Kaplan founded the company in 1954. Today it is run by her
son Michael (chairman) and two grandsons: Bo (president and CEO)
and Josh (VP of Merchandising).
Based in California, Lakeshore Equipment Company serves teachers
and parents nationwide through its retail stores in 28 states.
About one-third of its stores are located in California and Texas.
It operates in other states, such as Arizona, Colorado,
Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
Besides its nearly 60 stores, which operate under the Lakeshore
Learning Stores banner name, the company also operates a handful of
outlet warehouses in California and Maryland.
Lakeshore has placed greater emphasis on technology in education
in recent years. To this end, the company offers a suite of
50 educational software titles for children.
The software features interactive lessons and
activities on core school subjects, including math,
science, and language arts. Targeted to both teachers and parents,
the software can be used on interactive whiteboards in classrooms,
as well as on computers at home. It works with organizations
through partnership to create customized materials to meet specific
Sales and Marketing
To support its primary sales channel of selling education
products through its network of brick-and-mortar stores, Lakeshore
Equipment Company markets its materials through mail-order catalogs
and a website. As an added service and as a way to promote use of
its products, the company offers teacher workshops in its