Running Insight 5.3.2021

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MARCH 16, 2020 MAY 3, 2021


Run retailers looking for an edge this season can turn to dozens of essential products for those add-on sales as running rebounds.

Accessories 2021

Ya Gotta Accessorize

The important role the accessories category plays in the business of running is explored in this issue.

Running – and, by extension, run specialty retailing – is about much more than just shoes, apparel and socks. It’s also a business that runs on all of the other “stuff” elite and everyday runners demand — insoles, watches, monitors, nutrition, recovery and much, much more. In other words — the essentials for any runner. Those accessory categories are as much a part of the scene as shoes and socks and therefore these want-to-haves become must-haves for runners when they walk into a run specialty store. It is up to retailers to make sure they have the goods to satisfy that demand. There’s nothing better than the add-on sale after a customer buys the shoes they came in for. Why not a cool pair of laces, or a safety vest or that hip pair of shades? Do you have a pack to carry your gear and hydration when running? How about some gel or cream to ease sore muscles? Massage gun anyone? As retailers and their customers emerge from a pandemic, there is a significant pent-up demand for the essentials that make a run complete. With high margins and a customer looking to look and feel good, the opportunity is there for retailers to up their games while remaining the go-to resource for all-things running. As they say in the fashion world, ya gotta accessorize. For run specialty retailers, that means ya gotta make accessories a key part of the product mix throughout the store. ON THE FRONT COVER: The ProStretch Addaday Pro stick massage roller offers a customizable design with three gear types that allow for a massage that feels soft, medium or pinpoint to get the desired pain relief — it is designed for massaging deep into muscles rather than rolling just the surface. MSRP: $46.99

RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2021 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published monthly, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Divesified Communications, 121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101; (207) 842-5500.



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Accessories 2021

Missed Opportunities Nine reasons why your run shop might not be maximizing accessory sales — and finding the fix. / By Daniel P. Smith


hen John O’Neill, a selfd e s c r i b e d “ol d - s c h o ol runner,” first entered the run specialty marketplace in the 1980s he struggled to understand those who outfitted themselves with sunglasses, a Walkman (remember those?), a bulky hydration belt and other seemingly frivolous gear for their routine jaunt around the neighborhood. “I just didn’t get it,” O’Neill confesses. These days, though, O’Neill acknowledges he was the outlier, as runners – a bit then and certainly more now – seek products that make their fitness endeavors more comfortable, enjoyable and even tolerable. And for run shops, including O’Neill’s 21-year-old Colorado Running Company store in Colorado Springs, CO, that’s a positive. “These are our customers now and they want these extra things because they enhance their runs,” O’Neill says. Indeed, runners today are carrying phones and donning reflective vests, carting energy gels or water along on runs, investing in fitness-oriented headphones, using percussive massage devices and glaring at data from GPS watches. The plethora of available accessories has allowed run shops to provide customers with the tools they need as well as those they might not yet know they need. 4

Selling accessories can boost top-line revenue and, thanks to healthy margins, boost profitability of run shops.

© 2021 Diversified Communications

Missed Opportunities (continued)

Asking questions, listening and actively considering what other solutions the store might offer the customer are central to selling accessories. Someone who mentions they run with music or laments their inability to track mileage might be interested to learn about fitness-oriented headphones or GPS watch options, respectively.

“The main goal is to help customers feel more comfortable and attain their goals,” says Karen Roberts, owner of Get Fit in Amarillo, TX. And though accessories help run shops fulfill that mission while also offering a tidy boost to revenue and profitability, it is easy to overlook opportunities to better spotlight accessories and drive sales. Here are nine fairly obvious, but often misunderstood, mistakes run specialty retailers make when it comes to the accessories category — and how to fix them 1. The Mistake: Relegating accessories to the sidelines Run shops exist on the broad shoulders of footwear and the sit-and-fit experience. As such, footwear can easily dominate the conversation while accessories, 6

though visible on the showroom floor, become background noise. The Fix: Savvy run shop associates view the sit-and-fit experience as an opportunity to discuss the full spectrum of running solutions with a captive audience. They look around the corner for what else the store has that can assist a customer. They offer running tips and education because it is that more comprehensive approach that separates specialty run from the big boxes and e-commerce players. “On the fitting stool, we need to carefully think about what we can do for our customers beyond the footwear in front of us,” O’Neill says. 2.The Mistake: Failing to ask questions It seems so obvious and

elementary, but asking questions of customers – Where do you run? How do you track your mileage? What aches and pains do you deal with most often? How do you handle hydration as the heat climbs? – is too often forgotten or neglected. The Fix: Inquiry is necessary to understanding customers and offering up relevant solutions. Ask questions – lots of questions – and take a genuine interest in customers, their routines and their goals. “So many are afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to feel they are prying or being intrusive, but that’s how we can begin to help our customers’ adventures be more comfortable and enjoyable,” reminds Leone Rusher, manager of Shu’s Idaho Running Company in Boise.

3. The Mistake: Letting customer cues fly by Often a customer will signal exactly what he or she needs, directly detailing a need or answering a question. Other times, though, they might only be dropping little clues or tucking a detail into conversation. The Fix: Listen closely to hints about where and when customers run as well as how they engage with the sport. Did they mention running with music? Are they inquiring about local trails? Are they reluctant to go to a massage as COVID-19 persists? Those are all opportunities to present different accessories as something that can aid their experience. “We all need to be in tune with our customers and pick up on what they’re saying,” Roberts says. “That way, we can offer up a solution and explain why and how it can help them.” 4. The Mistake: Making accessories the same oneperson buying show Accessor ies buying ca n sometimes become more routine than thoughtful analysis and a process singularly led by one accessories-buying monarch. The Fix: At RUNdetroit, owner Justin Craig encourages staff to alert him of interesting products they encounter. He also allows staff a voice in curating the store’s product assortment. This active involvement helps RUNdetroit team members get behind products on the sales floor. “We want staff enthusiastic about the product and comfortable suggesting it because they themselves believe in it,” Craig says. © 2021 Diversified Communications



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Missed Opportunities (continued) can create unexpected sales that go straight to the bottom line.

Staff who can testify to the value different accessories, including all-things hydration, have added to their endeavors can often compel customers’ interest in products.

5. The Mistake: Neglecting to testify In hustling from one customer to the next or simply not wanting to feel overly promotional, staff might withhold sharing their personal experience with a product or resist offering candid commentary. A testimonial, however, remains a powerful tool. The Fix: When staff can share their experience with a product, how it improved or benefited them in real, tangible ways, it comes across as genuine and helpful, not salesy. “By being well versed in product knowledge and use, it makes conversations with customers about what we have to offer that much easier,” Rusher says. 8

6. The Mistake: Forgetting the passive sell Sometimes no words are necessary. When a store creates visuals of different accessories in use, it plants the seed that these items have use and value in one’s fitness routine. The Fix: When associates use a massage gun in eyesight of others, wear compression sleeves on the sales floor or don a headlamp during a fun run, it serves to create interest and, quite often, spark conversation. Silent selling can also take place in windows and with mannequins as well as on social media. 7. The Mistake: Not identifying situations where accessories make sense A customer calls the store

to ask about the availability of Velcro shoes because he has trouble lacing footwear. The sales associate simply responds: “Sorry, but we don’t carry any Velcro shoes.” The Fix: Rather than saying, “Sorry, we don’t carry Velcro shoes,” an associate can suggest elastic laces on a traditional running shoe. This would eliminate any worry over tying shoes while also providing the customer substantially more footwear choices for fit and comfort. At their most fundamental level, accessories are solutions to problems, whether that’s staying hydrated, safety concerns or injuries. When run shops are attuned to opportunities where accessories make sense, they

8. The Mistake: Ignoring opportunities to promote accessories Amid the shoe demo fun runs, latest footwear drops and fancy new apparel, accessories can get lost in the marketing mix. When a store is mindful of its customers’ routines and needs, however, opportunities naturally arise to promote accessories. The Fix: At the Colorado Running Company, O’Neill has hosted educational programming on hydration, trail running safety and recovery. Such opportunities allow the store to highlight a relevant issue, provide practical advice and passively promote a product. It’s education above all else with the accessory – a hydration belt or foam roller, for instance – merely a part how runners can stay safe on the trail or prevent injury. 9. The Mistake: Spending other people’s money W hen Cra ig de cided to bring a percussive device from Therabody into RUNdetroit, he rejected the $599 Theragun PRO and $399 Theragun Elite as too costly. Truth be told, he underestimated what his customers were willing to spend. For every four Theragun Primes priced at $299 that go out the door, RUNdetroit sells one Theragun mini at $199. The store has also ordered numerous PRO and Elite devices for customers as well. The Fix: “I’ve had to learn to be a little less price sensitive myself and see folks don’t mind spending more,” Craig says. n © 2021 Diversified Communications

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Accessories 2021

Recovery’s Evolution The recovery category has exploded and provided run shops with a valuable bottom-line opportunity. / By Daniel P. Smith


hen Steve Moore opened Run Moore seven years ago, recovery wasn’t so much a category in his in Westminster, MD, store as it was a small collection of random items. Moore carried different lengths of The Stick, one of the recovery category’s standard-bearers, and a basic foam roller. “And it wasn’t uncommon for me to get

on the ground and demonstrate how to use the foam roller,” Moore says. Today, however, the recovery category is robust and profitable at Run Moore. Moore’s shop is stocked with CBD products from Floyd’s of Leadville, various compression products from Pro-Tec, OS1st and others, Hoka One One recovery sandals, recovery drinks and contoured rollers

as well as well as various massage tools, including the recovery category’s latest gem, percussive massage devices. In good months, Moore says, recovery accounts for about 10 percent of his store’s overall sales. “And I can’t remember the last time I had to get on the ground with a foam roller,” he jokes. Moore’s tale is a familiar one in the

The success of products such as Pro-Tec’s foam roller is an indication of the growth of the recovery category and its positive impact on run retail’s bottom line.


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Recovery’s Evolution (continued)

Demo products help stir interest in recovery products, including percussive massage devices. At Maryland-based Run Moore, owner Steve Moore places “Try Me” labels on his floor demo models to encourage trials.

run specialty world, where the recovery category has exploded over the last decade and pulled run shops along for the ride. Recovery Goes Mainstream Once a field largely dominated by a recovery drink or two, The Stick and the basic foam roller, the recovery category today consists of next-level rollers with textures, channels and ridges that make the traditional foam roller look like a relic, numerous post-workout beverages, recovery footwear, CBD creams, bars and gummies, vibrating massage tools and various compression devices ranging from calf sleeves, socks and tights to high-tech boots. Such rampant product innovation continues fueling more widespread interest in the 12

category from runners and nonrunners alike. “Recovery isn’t just for the hard-care athletes any more, but something for folks to have everyday,” says Skip Brand, ow ner of t he Hea ldsbu rg Running Company in northern California. “It’s not at all uncommon to have a longer conversation about recovery with customers because people are curious and there’s a bigger belief in recovery product.” The “mainstreaming” of recovery product, Brand adds, has accelerated the category at his shop. Just as vendors have improved their packaging and marketing of recovery products, hitting on key details such as improved muscle recovery, performance and rest, consumers themselves have become

more aware of the importance of recovery. With hard data in hand courtesy of technology that monitors heart rate and sleep, for example, consumers see value in rest and recoveryaiding items like never before. “When something crosses over from specialty run to every day, it’s an easier sell,” Brand says, adding that stocking a broad assortment of recovery-oriented products has helped Healdsburg Running Company expand its clientele, propel repeat visits, spur referrals from medical professionals and boost sales. Four Ways To Spotlight Recovery Though consumers are more aware of the recovery category than ever before and a flood of products continue driving attention to recovery, run shops must still actively promote, sincerely discuss and strategically position recovery products in their showrooms to maximize sales opportunities. Here are four ways to accomplish just that. 1: Provide Demos and Samples At Run Moore, demo models of two percussive massage devices – the TriggerPoint Impact and a Theragun model – sit at eye level near the shoe wall alongside a “Try Me” label. When perusing the footwear wall or amid some quiet time during the sit-and-fit experience, Moore says customers cannot resist picking up one of the devices and trying it. “It’s like a gravitational pull,” Moore says. “And when people feel it and see their muscles rippling and experience the easy feeling of relief, the product sells itself.” An experiential area for such items – albeit one governed by sanitary practices in the age

of COVID-19 – can undoubtedly help spark intrigue and, in time, sales. So, too, can offering single-serve samples of CBD products or recovery drinks. “Giving people a literal taste of a product before they buy it is something Amazon can’t do and it’s the way to get people familiar with product,” Brand says. 2: Share Personal Experiences Perhaps more important than allowing customers to trial items is getting staff familiar with recovery products, so they can willingly share their experiences with customers. At Oh io -ba s e d Up a nd Running, owner Susie Stein has numerous competitive athletes on staff who talk religiously about the value of recovery in their lives and the products they use. As staff grow comfortable with a product in their own lives, Stein says they are then better positioned to introduce and discuss recovery items with customers. “Once our staff uses a recovery product, they want to talk about it,” Stein says. “And if they believe in a product, then that translates into their conversations with customers and it sells.” Moore’s belief in CBD regularly spurs sales at Run Moore. While any conversation about the CBD products often starts with skepticism – Does this work? Is it legal? – Moore answers those questions and details his own experience. “And more often than not, someone is willing to give it a try for a few bucks,” he says. 3: Use The Social Megaphone While footwear and apparel can capture so much social © 2021 Diversified Communications

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Recovery’s Evolution (continued)


At Run Moore in Westminster, MD, owner Steve Moore strategically places CBD product near the register to prompt interest and conversation.

media love, stores should not ignore recovery products. Highlight different solutions to problems, product features and, above all, product benefits. Numerous run shops have done this in earnest, from sharing simple product photos to instructional-style videos of staff discussing or using products themselves to generate attention and introduce recovery as something essential to training, not something separate from it. “A video showing a Theragun moving a muscle isn’t too tough,” Brand says, reminding that social media remains a quick, effective way to spread information to the masses. 4: Merchandise With A Purpose From the front windows to in-store arrangements, product placement and savvy merchandising can jolt interest in and sales of recovery products as well. At Up and Running, customers cannot access the store’s footwear area without

passing the vibration and massage devices, a strategic play on Stein’s part to pique guests’ curiosity. “When people are waiting, this is inevitably what they’re playing with,” she says. At Run Moore, CBD products sit prominently near the register. That calculated placement frequently stimulates conversation as customers complete their transaction. “People are drawn to it when they’re standing there and, outside of shoes, it’s the product we get asked about more than anything else,” Moore says. And rather than placing his plantar fasciitis recovery socks from OS1st and Feetures amid the store’s other socks, Moore places those items near other medical-type items. “In doing so, we clearly mark these socks as something different,” Moore says. “That allows us to talk about the product in a different way and provides more credibility.” n

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Accessories 2021

Optimizing Inventory Sole Sports’ Lance Muzslay has developed an inventory management system specifically for the run specialty channel.


rustrated by the challenges and inefficiencies in existing inventory management processes, especially for independent run specialty retailers, Lance Muzslay, co-owner with Karen McDonnell of the three Sole Sports Running Zone stores in Arizona, set out a few years back to develop a suite of tools that stands to revolutionize inventory management and overall efficiency for run specialty retailers. The result is Optio, which he describes as a browser-based suite of inventory management software geared toward running stores that significantly streamlines every aspect of inventory management. Essentially, Optio integrates all relevant inventory data in real time and delivers it in an easy-to-use and actionable manner. And with the advent of cloud-based POS systems it became possible to offer this suite of tools to other retailers so that they too may alleviate stubborn pain points.

and custom spreadsheets. Optio handles the painful, messy stuff and delivers information on a silver platter. The technology that would eventually form the basis of Optio was many years and refinements in the making and Muzslay explains that as a buyer for Sole Sports he started developing these tools to make the buying process more efficient. “I was surprised to discover just how daunting it is to manage inventory efficiently with so many styles, sizes, colors and locations along with product flowing in and out daily,” he recalls, adding that over time Optio expanded to cover all aspects of inventory management such as balancing inventory among multiple locations, special orders tracking, inventory counting and inventory searching. “Experiencing firsthand the tremendous difference this made for Sole Sports and encouraged by positive feedback from our

staff and colleagues in the specialty running channel, it made sense to make Optio available to the entire industry so that other stores can share in the same efficiencies,” Muzslay explains. How Optio Works To understand how Optio works, Muzslay says there are three primary areas of benefit. 1. Buying for both at-once and future orders. The footwear at-once order report computes what needs to be ordered based on real-time inventory from all locations, purchase orders due to arrive and stock levels defined for each style, size and location. The future order revision report computes a suggested range of quantities for each style and size based on current inventory and historical sales. Finally, the future order generator report drafts orders for a new season based on historical sales from a similar time period.

The Optio Evolution For many years Muzslay worked as a buyer and saw many gaps in the functionality of POS systems, especially for footwear retailers. He then recognized that Sole Sports’ ability to grow depended on the development of tools that plugged these gaps. With a background in software development in addition to being a footwear buyer, he was uniquely positioned to pursue his vision of tools that would bring extraordinary efficiency to small retailers. “I’m not aware of anything else that is as comprehensive and efficient to use, because if there was then I probably wouldn’t have created Optio,” Muzslay tells Running Insight, pointing out that most retailers are already using some mix of POS reports 16

© 2021 Diversified Communications

Optimizing Inventory (continued) “I’m not aware of anything else that is as comprehensive and efficient to use, because if there was then I probably wouldn’t have created Optio.” 2. Enhancement of existing POS features. An inventory search engine makes looking up inventory easier than the search functions built into any POS and even features automatic image rendering for several key brands, which is enormously beneficial to stores with multiple locations. One feature built into the inventory search engine is the ability to search across other stores that have opted in to connect their inventory data, a feature that is becoming popular given increasing supply chain issues. For instance, when vendors cannot fulfill a special order it’s a relief to find another store who is willing to sell it. This has been done for a long time through e-mail chains and among stores friendly to one another, but those modes are time consuming and woefully inefficient. Optio’s virtualization of inventory across many businesses puts retailers in a better position to save sales that might otherwise have been lost by a customer purchasing online. The inventory counting feature gives the person scanning barcodes an audible alert after every barcode scan indicating whether or not it matched an item in their database. It also allows scanning barcodes faster than Lightspeed Retail does. Similar features exist for receiving purchase orders and creating 18

inter-store transfers. The special orders report consolidates special orders across all locations and puts into buckets such as needs to be ordered, needs to be contacted or needs to be transferred to another location. This is certainly more efficient than a spreadsheet or paper notebook. 3. Inventory distribution for stores with multiple locations. The transfers report computes a pick list of what needs to be transferred from one location to another based on stock levels and real time inventory. The first priority is filling holes where there are no shoes for a particular size of a style. Next is balancing quantities and colors across locations so that customers have the widest range of choices. Balancing inventory is often done relatively manually and is terribly time consuming. Vendor Benefits and Retail Implementation Benefits of the system extend beyond the retailers themselves to their vendors, because when stores manage their inventory and purchasing more efficiently vendors are provided with better inventory predictability. “Purchasing can be pretty erratic because the existing tools are cumbersome and inefficient,” Muzslay explains. “Optio is an antidote to that chaos and empowers retailers to be better partners.” The biggest benefits are seen with footwear, followed by accessories. “Footwear presents a unique challenge with regards to ordering and for stores with multiple locations, distributing among multiple locations, because colors often need to be rolled up across styles,” he points out. Reta ilers need not be

intimidated by the technology, he stresses, since Optio integrates with RICS and Lightspeed Retail as a cloud-based service. Once authentication is done the data automatically refreshes from the POS system in the background. “It’s been designed to be very user friendly and doesn’t take users very long to get comfortable with its features,” he says, adding that other POS system integrations will be developed upon request. One other vendor benefit is that users have the ability to create accounts for sales reps in which they are empowered to view sales and inventory data for only the brands they represent. This is beneficial for sales reps to be able to see how their brand is performing in real time without having to rely on getting reports emailed to them. A free 60-day trial is available to any store that uses RICS or Lightspeed. Introductory pricing is $79/month for one location and $39/month for each additional location. There is also a small-store nurture program in which the cost is reduced to $10/ month per $100,000 in annual sales. For example, a store with $500,000 in annual sales would pay $50/month. “ T he a mou nt of money saved through time savings and increased profitability will be many multiples of the cost,” Muzslay promises. “You could say that it’s one of those things that needs to be seen to be believed.” What’s Next for Optio As he rolls out Optio industry-wide, Muzslay says the next priority is integrating vendor inventory availability data. “It’s laborious to have to log

Reducing friction while improving precision in operations is the driving force of Optio. into a vendor’s B2B site in order to check availability of items, especially when a store is busy and a customer is asking to place a special order,” he explains. “One step further will be adding the ability to create purchase orders inside of Optio while viewing vendor availability data.” Automatic computation of stock levels for accessories based on targeted turn rates and sales velocity is also on the drawing board. With hundreds or thousands of accessory SKUs being stocked, it’s not practical to stay on top of stock levels through a manual process. A better solution is specifying a turn rate target by item or category and then computing the stock level needed to achieve that based on historical sales. Finally, a big feature under development is integrating a sophisticated business intelligence platform that will enable dashboards and nearly any report someone can dream up. Muzslay also plans to develop reports by anonymizing data across all Optio users so that trends can be highlighted and best practices shared. “Reducing friction while improving precision in operations is the driving force of Optio,” he explains. n Lance Muzslay can be reached at Key features are highlighted at © 2021 Diversified Communications


Accessories 2021

Fit To Be Tied New White Paper details how athlete performance is improved with Boa Fit System.


t h lete per for ma nce ca n be improved through biomechanical changes directly related to Boa Fit System-equipped footwear, according to a second peer-reviewed white paper recently published by Footwear Science. Boa, in partnership with the University of Denver, set out to measure the biomechanical impact of its fit solutions and the latest publication reportedly marks another milestone in its mission to scientifically demonstrate the performance benefits of the BOA Fit System. The second report breaks down how the performance improvements came about, specifically by quantifying the biomechanical mechanisms responsible for the observed performance improvements. Researchers analyzed how ankle, knee and hip motion and forces changed during specific movements relative to agility and speed. The team reported that BOA’s PerformFit Wrap upper design, specifically the tri-panel and y-wrap configurations, reduced motion in those undesired planes and increased range of motion and moments in the desired planes for each motion. Researchers also saw that these configurations produced greater rates of force development and resulted in less work for athletes. “Using data from our study subjects, we measured three key variables: joint range of motion, joint moments, and joint powers, one hundred times per second,” explains Dan Feeney, Ph.D., Boa’s manager of biomechanics research and Performance Fit Lab. “In specific Boa configurations that we now call PerformFit Wrap, we saw that athletes could change direction more quickly during vertical and lateral drills. “Athletes were also able to optimize velocity and force in the direction they 20

The Boa Fit System delivers scienticially measurable performance improvements for runners.

intended to move, while minimizing motion in other directions,” he adds. “This is an important consideration as excessive motion in unintended directions is undesirable and can be associated with wasted energy and potentially injury risk.” Footwear Science’s second Boa paper expands on the original study’s findings

that the high performing Boa configurations resulted in a three-to-nine percent improvement in agility and speed, along with a reduction in energy required to perform a movement over the same shoe model with traditional laces. “BOA’s mission is to deliver scientifically measurable performance improvements through the innovative applications of the BOA Fit System,” says Shawn Neville, CEO at Boa Technology. “Our Performance Fit Lab and the University of Denver have done an excellent job with the first two white papers and are already working on future validation studies to continue to push the limits of human performance through superior fit.” The La Sportiva Cyklon trail running shoe, launching this spring, along with the current Saucony Switchback 2 (in photo at left), both integrate the Boa tri-panel configuration. Future developments with top running brands are also set to leverage these findings in forthcoming product. n

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Accessories 2021

Elevator Pitch

We asked suppliers for their reasons run specialty retailers should sell accessories — in 30 seconds or less.

“It’s all about improving the run. The focus of an accessory is to make the runners life a little bit easier and the run itself a little more efficient. When you have the right accessories, you run more often and feel more secure. It can set a mind at ease, allowing a runner to focus on what’s more important.” — TJ Carr, Digital Media/Content, Lock Laces

“Offering accessories adds value to your customers and positions your store as a resource for runners to explore ways to solve their problems, improve their performance and make their runs more comfortable and enjoyable.” — Jen Outland, Strategic Marketing Associate, Kahtoola

“Accessories are a great upsell to customers that come in for their running shoes. We obviously are big advocates of lights and safety accessories and a great way to show you care about your customers is by assuring they are safe when running at night.” — Dan Hopkins, Founder, Knuckle Lights

“Simple enough — we just want to give them a reason to look at your category of products. Accessories help with increased profits, increased dollars per transaction, longer margins and a more personalized shopping and running experience. Accessory brands also often help on the education front with staff. All told … accessories help.” — Mike Houser, VP–U.S. Sales, Superfeet 22

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Accessories 2021

“Running accessories allow runners to meet their specific needs and show off their individual personality.” — Kate Arsenault, Founder, rrnr “Accessories can provide high-margin, highvolume, add-on sales when engaging new and seasoned consumers. We feel it’s important to make sure the customer is aware of all the accessories that can help make their experience more enjoyable, whether that’s the perfect performance hat, socks, sports nutrition or insoles.” — Kay Martin, CEO, Boco Gear

“Much like shoes and apparel, it’s equally important to make sure every other item you run or work out in enhances your experience rather

“No two customers are alike, so help them individualize their experience through accessories. They offer an opportunity to customize the running experience. When you go to a run specialty store part of the reason is to find the right shoe for your foot and accessories can offer further customization. The shoe serves as the base model and by offering accessory options the retailer is giving customers the opportunity to make the shoe their own either by fit, color, design or a combination thereof.” — Anthony Pong, Managing Partner, Caterpy

than hinders it. Carrying run-focused accessories at run specialty retailers makes them a one-stop-shop for runners.” — Tony Martinez, Director of Marketing, Knockaround

“Without a place to carry food, water and phone runs are going to be short, unhealthy and unsafe.” — Lindsay Dakota, Co-Founder, Naked 24

© 2021 Diversified Communications




Market Week SUMMER

F R E E J U N E 8 – 10, 2021 Meaningful Connections & Quality Conversations Market Week Summer unites run specialty retailers with the running industry’s top brands for productive business meetings, interactive town halls, and fun opportunities to connect with the run community. Meet with brands representing multiple

product categories, including Brooks, On, RICS, and Therabody Speak with fellow retailers about topics

critical to the run specialty industry during lively, 45-minute town halls Participate in Running Insight’s

first-ever virtual run for the chance to win exciting prizes




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Accessories 2021

Nathan’s QuickSqueeze Insulated hydration flask has a flat bottom to stand upright on its own, providing a solid surface for filling. The flask is designed to be grip-free and lightweight and features double-wall construction to keep fluids cooler longer and it is shaped to fit any runner’s hand. MSRP: $24.99

The Honey Stinger Short Stack Waffle brings the maple flavors of a fresh plate of homemade pancakes and syrup straight to a runner’s pocket in a convenient single serving. It is made with non-GMO, organic ingredients and True Source Certified Honey, providing balanced, natural energy. MSRP: $16.99

Featuring dual transmission, the HRM-Pro premium chest strap lets runners share accurate heart rate data with their Garmin device, compatible fitness equipment and third-party training apps. It also helps improve running form by providing running dynamics. MSRP: $129.99

Aeropex wireless headphones from Aftershokz feature an openear design so runners can stay safe and aware of their surroundings, patented eighth generation bone conduction technology for premium sound and an eight-hour battery life. Plus, they are completely sweat and waterproof. MSRP: $159.95


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Accessories 2021

Caterpy’s Air Laces utilize a smooth, yet elastic design throughout most of the lace to provide a more casual look, while the signature “bump technology” is used on the ends to keep the desired lace tension and shoe fit. MSRP: $11.95 The newest version of Knuckle Lights is a single unit that is held in runners’ hands between the index and middle fingers. At 350 lumens it is an ultra-bright light and the rechargeable unit is waterproof for use in any weather. MSRP: $59.99


Bü Brands’ broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen is non-greasy and non-sticky, creating an invisible layer of sweat and water-resistant sun protection. Its moisturizing and hypoallergenic formula won’t clog pores. MSRP: $9-$22

HydraPak’s SkyFlask (500ml) has a selflocking cap for leakproof transport and features IsoBound technology, a doublewall construction and open cell foam that keeps liquids 38 percent cooler. It shrinks to reduce water movement. MSRP: $20

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Accessories 2021

Fitly’s Sub90, a minimalist running pack to carry essentials, is built with a hidden tubing system that keeps runners hydrated with a low-profile 500ml flask with water resistance for phone protection. MSRP: $79


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Accessories 2021

Salomon’s Women’s Active Skin 8 Set Hydration Vest prioritizes comfort with a soft, snug fit and is adaptable with lower pockets for flasks and a straw for effortless drinking. MSRP: $100


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Accessories 2021

ArtiKen’s Hills Pay Bills running bracelet from its Spring 2021 collection features a bold blue hue with a beaded design that also comes in an adjustable version. Handmade in Kenya, Hills Pay Bills contributes to ArtiKen’s mission of donating 10 percent of its profits to clean water initiatives to the country where its products are designed. MSRP: $32

The RelieveIt Gel treats plantar fasciitis, foot pain and shin splints and is made with RelieveIt pine resin, a new botanical anti-inflammatory discovery. It is best applied before a run to prevent muscle soreness. MSRP: $40

Experia by Thorlos is launching a collection of accessories for Spring 2021, including this arm sleeve. Designed with lightweight stretch performance fabrics that offer wicking and antimicrobial properties, these warming accessories provide a reflective logo to stay visible and safe and touch-tip technology to easily access a smartphone.


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Accessories 2021

The VRG’s futuristic monolens frames from goodr have the performance benefits to take runners from soaring through clouds in the virtual world to strenuous trails. All VRGs have a glare-reducing polarized lens and won’t slip or bounce while running. MSRP: $35 Maho Shades feature a proprietary, patent-pending Zuma Fit grip. When on the run, these shades sit securely on the face and repel liquids, making it stickier when wet than dry — thank you sweat! Each pair features polarized lenses and are scratch-resistant and oleohydrophobic (meaning they repel oil and water).


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Accessories 2021

Inspired by bold eye-catching colors that make a statement outdoors, Junk Brands created its Reverb headband design with brightly contrasting colors with a wave, creating motion while still keeping each hue’s integrity.

The Torrey Pines Sport collection takes Knockaround’s Torrey Pines frames with their extra-wide lens coverage and elevates them for runners and hikers with embedded rubber nose grips designed to reduce slipping, sliding and bouncing. MSRP: $30 The Shift MAG from Smith is a five-base shield unisex sunglass with a slight wrap fit and a slim frame, complete with a vented brow bar to promote airflow and minimize fogging. It also offers MAG interchangeable technology that enables fast lens swapping with a simple click. MSRP: $259


Tifosi Optics chic couple, Shirley and Salvo (in photo), join its athleisure Swank Series. Shirley adds a little purr to performance with her cat-eye styling, while Salvo features a trendy brow bar. The shatterproof lenses provide 100 percent UV protection and the frames are made with lightweight Grilamid TR-90. MSRP: $25-49.95

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Accessories 2021

Running Pods from Egg Weights become an accountability partner to help runners correct their form and create better mechanics by providing feedback on the connection between what the upper and lower bodies are doing during a stride. They come in adult (two pound) and youth (one pound) sets. The Hypervolt GO from Hyperice has a portable percussion at 1.5 pounds with near-silent operation. Its small build and lightweight design allow for more versatility in how it’s held and operated. MSRP: $199


Falke’s gloves are lightweight and seamless to give runners a suitable option to wear underneath sleeves. MSRP: $59.95 The Wrist Locker wrist wallet from Locker Lifestyle allows runners to stash ID, cash, keys and phone and is machine-washable, dry-wicking and made of high-performance athletic fabric. MSRP: $19.95-21.95

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Accessories 2021

The Momentum 2.0’s Fluidic holsters are easy-to-reach back behind the hip and grab or stow a bottle and this minimalist sixliter vest is outfitted with UltrAcool Light Mesh. It also features an upgraded shoulder pocket to carry any size cell phone and a shock cord on both front strap pockets. MSRP: $89.95


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Accessories 2021

Nuun Energy is a new drink tablet from Nuun that contains organic green tea extract, panax ginseng and essential vitamins to provide a steady lift of energy. MSRP: $7.99

Muir Energy’s Strawberry Energy Gel contains four real-food ingredients to boost runners’ energy. Made with strawberries, coconut palm sugar, blackstrap molasses and pink Himalayan salt, Muir’s fruit gel is rich in vitamin C and electrolytes. MSRP: $2.50


Huma Hydration Electrolyte Drink Mix Powder is scientifically formulated to resemble the sweat-loss profile of athletes, with low sugar, low calories and high electrolytes in a fast-dissolving, allnatural formulation. Made in the USA by a veteran-owned company. MSRP: $26.99

LactiGo is a carnosine and magnesium gel that is applied topically 45 minutes before performance activity and again post-shower for recovery. It uses carnosine to buffer the hydrogen molecules created when muscles work, which delays the onset of lactic acid. MSRP: $29.96

Tailwind Salted Caramel Rebuild is made with organic rice protein and supplemented with amino acids, carbohydrates, some healthy fats from coconut milk and just the right amount of electrolytes. Tailwind Salted Caramel Rebuild repairs runners’ muscles efficiently while quickly restoring energy with a boost of 80 mg of caffeine from Arabica coffee. MSRP: $38.99

© 2021 Diversified Communications

Accessories 2021

MyoStorm’s Meteor 2.1 is a self-heating and vibrating massage therapy ball that combines heat with its Ultrasoothe Vibration technology, designed to facilitate muscle recovery and help reduce chronic pain. MSRP: $149.

The Vista True Wireless earbuds from Jaybird feature Earth-proof technology that makes them shock-, dust-, waterand sweat-proof while maintaining their sound. MSRP: $179.99

The SPIbelt Dual Pocket Pro features two pockets and wide elastic for stability. The Original pocket size, expanding to 6.5x3x2inches, and the Large Pocket, expanding to 8x4x2-inches, easily accommodate smartphones. MSRP: $34.99


© 2021 Diversified Communications

Accessories 2021

Xpand’s no-tie elastic shoelace system turns any shoe, sneaker or boot into slip-ons and ensures that runners never have to tie their shoelaces ever again — in more than 40 colors, including reflective laces and glow-in-the-dark. MSRP: $9.99 Sun Sleeves from the Zensah X Justin Holiday collection protect runners against the sun’s UV rays with UPF 50+ protection, while the light compression ensures they stay in place. MSRP: $30


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Accessories 2021

Currex RunPro insoles reduce foot pressure, provide support and deliver motion for enhanced stability and reduced injuries. MSRP: $49.95 The elasticity of Lock Laces turn running shoes into a slip-on as well as provide the comfort needed for longer runs. The double eyelet lock secures the laces at any tension and prevents shoes from ever coming untied. The Rainbow Lock Laces are a colorful and fun addition that matches a bold running personality. MSRP: $9.99


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Accessories 2021

The Timex Ironman R300 GPS watch offers a 20-hour battery life in GPS mode and 25 days in Smart Mode. MSRP: $129.00

The Polar Vantage M2 multisport GPS watch offers the guidance and data to help runners get stronger and essential smartwatch features to keep them connected MSRP: $299.95

Suunto’s 9 Baro Titanium is an upgraded version of the Suunto 9, now featuring 80-plus pre-built sport modes, including trail running, hiking, skiing, Nordic and backpacking, with customizable screens, weather insights and wrist-based heart rate monitoring. MSRP: $599

The Coros Pace 2 packs a punch at a price point to drive volume at run specialty. It is the lightest GPS watch at 29g with the optional nylon band, and includes the full suite of metrics for the road, track or multisport athlete. MSRP: $199.99


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Accessories 2021

Ucan Edge is a training fuel powered by SuperStarch carbohydrate to sustain runners’ energy while keeping blood sugar levels stable. MSRP: $29.95


Naked’s SL Running Band is a follow-up to its Original Running Band that eliminates nonessential features but still carries multiple flasks, phone, keys and nutrition. MSRP: $42.99

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Accessories 2021

Superfeet’s ME3D insoles are made with a personalized 3D-printed shape for individualized support. These custom orthotic insoles are calibrated to each foot’s dynamic pressure pattern, with five independent support zones that adapt and respond to a runner’s or walker’s movement. MSRP: $150 Defunkify’s Odor Remover Spray uses the ionic silver and essential oils to crush stink and bring nicer scents into runners’ lives. Created with a formula that’s free of synthetic fragrances, phosphates, chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners and sodium lauryl ether sulfate. Available in Fresh Air, Lavender, Lemongrass and Peppermint. MSRP: $9.99


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Accessories 2021

EXOspikes footwear traction from Kahtoola are designed for cross-terrain adventures for trail runners and hikers, taking them from road to trail and back in snowy/icy/muddy conditions. It features 12 spikes per foot, each with three levels of traction: extremely durable tungsten carbide tips for bite into ice, aluminum steps for grip on uneven surfaces and TPU lugs for grip on loose terrain. A revised TPE elastomer harness allows EXOspikes to fit over trail or hiking shoes and stays stretchy down to -22°F for effortless on/off in cold climates.


© 2021 Diversified Communications

Accessories 2021

The Pro-Tec EVA Bold Foam Roller encourages recovery postexercise through deep tissue massage to promote flexibility and myofascial release. It comes in two sizes — a travel-friendly 6x18inch size and 6x35-inch longer roller.

Tuli’s The X Brace elastic foot brace provides treatment for heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis, Sever’s disease and overpronation. The “X” design provides support and reduces arch pressure similar to how Low-Dye taping works. MSRP: $34.99

Ten Seconds Disinfectant + Deodorizer is an EPA- and FDAapproved disinfectant plus deodorizer built to kill and mitigate viruses and bacteria, as well as fungus/mildew that causes odor, athlete’s foot and infections such as MRSA. Use after runs to prevent cross-contamination and keep gear fresh. MSRP: $9.99

In a world where beauty and healthy hair matter, TIY created a soothing and disruptive technology that combats problems associated with drug store hair ties. The customization and soft material is gentle on hair and locks the hair in place — and they come in 17 colors. MSRP: Pro $12.50 (in photo); Basic $8


© 2021 Diversified Communications

Accessories 2021

The R8+ from Roll Recovery is an FDA-approved medical device that targets the IT-bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, gluteus, arms and more with deep tissue massage force that runners will appreciate. MSRP: $169 ThermaWedge’s Complete 5-in-1 Plantar Fasciitis Treatment can be used at home or in the workplace to build and maintain foot and ankle strength, flexibility and mobility to provide runners with cooling, warming and therapeutic stretching of the calves and plantar fascia.


Each serving of Skratch Labs’ Sport Superfuel Drink Mix provides 400 calories, enough to power a two-to-three hour effort for most endurance athletes, or an extremely intense one-hour effort for an elite athlete. MSRP: $39.50

TriggerPoint has expanded its collection of foam rollers with the Channel, designed with a recessed channel in the center to protect and support the spine and offer even muscle compression. The shape delivers direct compression while avoiding sensitive areas like the spine and IT band. MSRP: $44.99

Sleep Again Extra Strength from Heal Again has 400 mg of CBD and 200 mg of CBN, the number one sleep aid in the canna world, per one ounce bottle. This 2:1 ratio is a powerful partner to help runners get to sleep and sleep deeper. MSRP: $39.99

© 2021 Diversified Communications

Accessories 2021

My Soxy Feet’s Hello Runshine hats and visors are light and keep sun and sweat out of the eyes of a runner. Wash and wear again and again. MSRP: $24

The Buff Filter Tube is designed with a three-layer replaceable filter that blocks with 98 percent bacterial filtration efficiency that stays in place in a built-in antimicrobial-treated pocket.

Boco Gear’s Get Outside Trail Trucker offers a soft foam front panel, ventilated mesh back panels and a moldable, lightweight bill, along with a snapback closure, moisture wicking internal sweatband and inner lining at the forehead. MSRP: $29.99

BibBoards’ bbSNAPS alleviate ear pain and pressure for runners when wearing a mask. They come in a set of four clips. MSRP: $12.99


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Accessories 2021

The Half Dome Visor from rnnr has a lightweight design built for breathability and moisture management, along with a full circumference sweatband that allows water and sweat to channel around the hat in order to cool the head equally. MSRP: $26


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Accessories 2021

The Royo Roller adjustable self-massage roller helps improve range of motion and increases blood flow and oxygen to the muscles while improving conditions from arthritis and fibromyalgia. MSRP: $49.44

Body Glide continues as the effective necessity decade after decade, for runners who discover they need to prevent blisters and chafing — and it goes on dry.

Sur Immunity supports a healthy immune response by helping to fill fruit and veggie gaps in runners’ diets while keeping free radicals in check. This vegan capsule combats oxidative stress with a blend of polyphenols from 29 fruits, vegetables and herbs. MSRP: $28


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Accessories 2021

Junk Brands was inspired to create the Jazzy Headband to bring on some nostalgia from a simpler time when whimsical designs donned the side of paper cups — the 1990s. MSRP: $15.99


© 2021 Diversified Communications

Calling ALL Runners Running stores need to appeal to a broader range of runners who don’t fit the stereotypical mold. / By Allison Torres Burtka


unners come in every size, shape, color, speed and experience level, but they might not always feel like they belong in running stores. They might think running stores are made for the stereotypical thin, white, fast marathoner, especially if that’s what marketing materials and store displays show. “I’ve been doing this since I was 16 and I worked back when only running geeks shopped at running stores and only runner nerds ran marathons,” says Kris Hartner, owner of Naperville Running Company. The running community has broadened since then and the customer base has expanded along with it to include those who don’t even run — who just want comfortable shoes for walking or other activities. Since Ahmaud Arbery was killed while out on a run last year, and calls for racial justice have heightened, the running community has begun to wrestle with its own lack of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and the racism that exists within it. In the current climate, people of color and other underrepresented groups need to feel welcome and included in the running community. The Solutions Explored So what can a run retailer do about that? “I feel like the most effective way to appeal to people of color, or the ones that don’t fit into the mainstream version of what I guess a runner looks like, is to have opportunities for them to see people that look like themselves in your brick-andmortar retail location,” says Harry Chandler, a general manager with Charlotte Running Company. That has included trying to hire more diverse people. Hiring is often the first thing companies 50

Christi Beth Adams put up these signs in Fleet Feet Nashville stores as an statement of where they stand.

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tackle when they aim to improve their DEI, but running retailers have other options as well. • Imagery. Running stores often have Prefontaine or wellknown Olympians on the wall, Chandler says. But if you feature people of color in your store, on your website and on flyers that you hand out, these images will appeal to a broader range of people because they will think, ‘Hey, this person looks like me. This person’s probably got the same background as me. I feel comfortable shopping here,’” he says. Naperville Running Company has also changed the imagery it uses. They generally don’t use vendors’ imagery anyway, because it often shows images like somebody running down a mountain, “and we don’t have mountains in Naper ville,” Hartner says. To better connect the graphics to the store, they started using photos of their own employees running. Then, based on a customer’s suggestion in a focus group, they started featuring customers as well, especially people of color. • Customer Service. Being openly welcoming to anyone who comes in the store is a basic customer service concept, but it’s especially important if someone with a larger body type is intimidated by running stores, or if a Black customer is worried they’ll be followed around the store. It’s important for employees to try to understand how it feels for a person of color to go into a retail shop, Hartner says. He recalls a woman of color explaining that “she has to tell her sons, ‘When you go to go to a shop, always get a receipt, 51

never put your hands in your pockets. Don’t wear a hoodie, dress nicely, make eye contact.’” When employees who haven’t had these experiences themselves hear about them, they can learn from them. It might take courage for someone to come into the store, but if you treat them with dignity and don’t make them feel less important because they’re not training for anything, they will feel welcome, explains Christi Beth Adams, owner of Fleet Feet Nashville. And then, “we have built a reputation that we’re a safe space — we’re a welcoming space.” • Signage. Adams installed posters in her store windows that say: “We welcome all races, all religions, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all genders. We stand with you. You are safe here.” Most of the responses they’ve gotten have been positive, but some customers have questioned them. Recently, a customer said, “I don’t disagree with that sign. But I don’t understand why you have to post it,” Adams recalls. “Usually, my response to those people is, ‘Hey, then that sign’s not for you.’ If they see the sign and think it’s unnecessary, that means they felt comfortable — they didn’t feel unsafe,” she says. The sign is for the people who don’t already feel comfortable. This kind of outward statement doesn’t come naturally to Adams. Her personality is more to “fly under the radar, be a good example and that’s enough,” she says. But over the past year she has thought, “maybe that’s not enough. Maybe we do have to be more intentional.”

One of Fleet Feet Nashville’s partners is 6RUN5, a run group that aims to promote more active lifestyles in the Nashville community.

To dispel the notion that the store is only for elite runners, Chandler displays signs inside the store that say “This is not the Olympics” and “0.0.” They have the added benefit of making people laugh. • Diversifying P roduct Offerings. Not all runners – not all ultra runners, even – are thin. And even if they fit into two-inch running shorts, they might not want to. So some running stores have been offering extended sizes as well as styles that might appeal to a broader range of runners. Charlotte Running Company showcases Brooks and Hoka, “because those brands as a movement have made it a point to say that there are different body types of people,” Chandler says. They have also started carrying longer running shorts for men from Vuori, along

with some options from Rabbit. The store carries an expanded size run as well. Extended sizes have been an issue for many years, Adams says. “It’s sort of this vicious cycle of: Well, nobody buys them, so that’s why we don’t make them, and then people are like, I can’t buy it, because it’s not made.” But, Adams says, “We just got in some extended sizing from Oiselle, so I’m really excited about that.” • Community Involvement. Running clubs are one way to connect with the community. Chandler says a running club that meets at the store has at least five different pace groups, so runners at all levels feel included, “from a new person that’s a novice or beginner runner to the person that may think that this is the Olympics,” he says. © 2021 Diversified Communications

Calling ALL Runners (continued) providing blades and shoes. • Education. If store owners and employees are mostly white, education might require turning to a DEI expert. Hartner brought someone in to give a seminar on DEI to staff, where they would feel comfortable asking questions. They also conducted a focus group with members of the community to get their perspectives. Chandler, who is Black, recommended talking to religious leaders about job openings and about what would make an underrepresented community feel comfortable in the store.

Amputee Blade Runners, which helps amputees get the equipment they need to be active, is one of Fleet Feet Nashville’s partners.

Fleet Feet Nashville has struck up partnerships with several organizations, mainly in instances where they saw a need that they could help fill. Sometimes, the result has been

including people who may not have felt included previously. One example is their partnership with Amputee Blade Runners, which helps equip amputees to participate in athletics, by

The Runner Who Designed His Own Line In 2017, Sidney Baptista started Pioneers Run Crew to create an inclusive community for runners of color in the Boston area. And when his crew couldn’t find running gear that both fit them and that they liked, he launched his own line, called PYNRS, earlier this year. Some of the crew’s runners have bigger, curvier bodies, so running gear didn’t always fit well. Baptista set out to create gear that fit and that also “spoke to the lifestyle and culture and stuff that we do, in terms of city runners, people of color runners, people who aren’t necessarily out there to be the


Making Progress Hartner has invited all of the store’s staff to join the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC), a coalition of running brands, retailers and runners working together to increase diversity in the running industry. Many of the staff who have joined “have been the old white guys, because I think our old white guys know they have the most to learn and are very excited,” he says. Progress might come slowly.

PYNRS performance streetwear launched recently.

But little changes matter, Adams says. “Our days are so busy, you can look up six months from now and you’ve not made any changes,” she says. “So you can pinpoint what is one thing I can do better? Or what is one need that I can fulfill?” Acknowledging that you might not be doing enough to make underrepresented runners feel included, and trying to figure out what to do about it, can be uncomfortable. But that discomfort shouldn’t stop you, Chandler says. “You’re going to mess up, you’re going to say something wrong, you’re probably going to offend someone and fail. But don’t let that fear stop you from making an effort to connect,” he says. “I feel like, in every experience that you have, whether it goes extremely wrong or extremely right, it’s an opportunity for you to learn and you can take those experiences and build on them.” n Allison Torres Burtka is co-lead of the RIDC Media Subgroup. She can be reached at allison@

fastest runner,” Baptista says. “How do you bring this energy that we’ve created in our running team that’s made for people who aren’t going to go break records?” Some of them are trying to qualify for Boston, but “most people are just trying to become runners,” he says. From a style standpoint, there’s “a nod to streetwear culture,” rather than the elite runner aesthetic, Baptista says. This way, the run crew and PYNRS both celebrate runners as they are. “That’s what people want, really — they want to be celebrated and noticed and seen and heard.” For more:

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November 30 – December 2, 2021 AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, TX


at The Running Event The Industry’s Premier Event for Run Specialty Retailers and Race Directors The Running Event provides an exciting and dynamic experience that enables retailers and race directors to source new products from market-leading brands.

Ensure your products are in stores— now and in the years to come.



| 1,150 Store Fronts

Learn More:


running shorts Market Week Summer To Connect Retailers and Top Brands MARKET WEEK SUMMER, A FREE virtual event scheduled for June 8-10, will bring run specialty retailers and brands together online to connect, learn and do business. A continuation of successful virtual events held in 2020 and in early 2021 hosted by Running Insight, Market Week Summer will once again facilitate productive conversations with industryleading brands. Among the benefits for retailers: • Reach your business objectives by connecting with the industry’s leading run specialty brands. • Meet efficiently during one-on-one or group discussions that fit your availability and preferences. • Connect with your peers during Town Hall discussions that explore shared challenges and creative solutions.

Saucony Names Tambosi CMO Saucony has appointed Fábio Tambosi as chief marketing officer, responsible for providing strategic development and execution of Saucony’s global branding initiatives, including brand positioning, direct-to-consumer, advertising, digital strategies, international growth initiative, and expansion of Originals, the brand’s heritage lifestyle business. Tambosi reports directly to Saucony’s global brand president, Anne Cavassa. He joins Saucony with more than 18 years of global brand-building experience, most recently serving as global head of brand, planning and activation at Adidas, for the Sports Performance categories. In that role, Tambosi led the creative development, brand plan and media strategy for its Ready for Sport global campaign. Before that, he oversaw brand communications for Adidas Sports Apparel, 54

• Make a PR, explore a new trail, break in new gear, and win prizes during the event’s first virtual fun run! The free event offers an additional incentive: retailers that meet with 75 percent of participating brands will receive a complimentary pass to The Running Event! Special highlights of Market Week Summer include: • A virtual fun run to gear up for the event, where participants can test innovative products—and be placed in the

running to receive exciting door prizes. • Two Town Hall discussions featuring representatives from the Top 4 Best Running Stores and Running Insight Sponsors of Market Week Summer include Boa, Brooks, Currex, Gatorade, On, OS1st, RICS, Superfeet, Swiftwick, The North Face, Therabody and Under Armour. Registration closes on June 8! For more and to register:

Stella McCartney and Women, driving strategic priorities and building its core positioning and messaging for the business unit. Before Adidas, Tambosi

served as Nike’s brand director for Nike Football. “Fábio is a multi-cultural marketer known for building and growing brands in today’s fast-changing digital landscape,” says Cavassa. “He comes to Saucony with a creative and consumer-centric focus that stems from his extensive global experience and his ability to lead brand engagement across the entire consumer journey will further advance our momentum as we connect with millions of new runners, guided by product innovation, e-commerce and storytelling.” “Running into a brand that is 120 years old is truly epic,” adds Tambosi. “This is a time of great opportunity for Saucony. The brand’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainable practices and the overall goodness of running, are values that resonate deeply with me.”

© 2021 Diversified Communications

running shorts Red Sox Honored Boston Marathon With Unique Uniforms EVEN THOUGH THE ICONIC BOSTON Marathon will not be run this year until October, the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball paid tribute to the race last month by trading in the team’s traditional red-and-navy-themed colors for a yellow with baby blue trim look with stencil lettering — all inspired by the Marathon and Patriots’ Day. The new look – which was worn during a home series against the Chicago White Sox on April 17 and 18, ahead of Patriots’ Day on April 19, when the race would normally have taken place – is part of Major League Baseball’s partnership with Nike, the league’s official uniform partner, in something called its City Connect series. On April 19 the team once again wore the Boston Strong uniforms they have used since the marathon bombing in 2013. While the yellow and blue colors pay

tribute to the Boylston Street finish line, another nod to the marathon the uniform includes is a replica racing bib with the number “617” — a Boston area code — on the sleeve. The Red Sox caps still had the iconic “B” on them, but now it was in the same bright yellow and blue as the

jersey, and there will be special socks, too. (The socks will still have some red socks on them.) The Boston Marathon has been run every Patriots’ Day since 1897 (except 2020 and 2021). The 125th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, October 11, 2021.

Adidas Signs On To Sponsor Boston Marathon Through 2030 On the day that the Boston Marathon would usually have been held – the race has been rescheduled to October 11 due to pandemic crowd concerns – Adidas announced that it has renewed its sponsorship of the iconic race through 2030. Adidas has been the Marathon’s official sponsor since 1989, as well as supporting the Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) other initiatives such as the 5K, 10K and half-marathon, since 1994. In a statement, Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the BAA, said that “Adidas has supported all aspects of our organization, from mass participatory events to the BAA’s running club and High Performance team. Our collective missions align in the promotion of health and fitness and

this extension solidifies our combined commitment to the sport and running in the community.” John Hancock has also been a sponsor of the marathon since 1986. In an interesting sidenote to the Adidas news, Des Linden, the winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon, also announced on the same day that she will be back to run in the 125th edition of the event in October. The 37-year-old Linden — who has participated in seven Boston

Marathons and two Olympics — became the fir st elite runner to officially commit to the event; she will be a member of the John Hancock Professional Athlete Team. “The 125th Boston Marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race the Boston Marathon in the fall,” Linden told the BAA. “After a hiatus last year, I’m excited to return to the streets of Boston, in front of the best fans in the world, and take part in this historic race.”


© 2021 Diversified Communications

running shorts New Balance Unveils FuelCell Rebel v2, Saucony Debuts Freedom 4, Veja Goes Green With The Marlin

THE FUELCELL REBEL V2 FROM New Balance officially launched April 23, taking learnings on speed from the v1 and incorporating New Balance’s latest FuelCell technology so they can handle any training session. The FuelCell Rebel v2 builds on the v1, with an upgraded midsole that provides high midsole rebound, offering explosive energy return to get the most out any recovery runs, long-runs, tempo runs, or interval training sessions; and a lightweight upper with a durable engineered mesh provides breathability, while a molded collar foam detail helps lock down the foot while adding to the bold design aesthetic. Launching in time for the return of marathons this year, the Rebel v2 is billed as “an excellent training partner and race day companion to the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite.” MSRP: $130.

SAUCONY LAST WEEK UNVEILED THE FREEDOM 4, delivering “a shoe that’s engineered for the run, perfect for the gym and stylishly sleek for everything else.” Updated with ultralight, high-performance PWRRUN PB cushioning, the ability to better handle lateral movement and a polished all-day appeal, the Freedom 4 is Saucony’s lightest and most responsive shoe with rearfoot stability for more confident lateral movements and gym performance/cross-training; a Tri-Flex outsole for quick transitions; and Formfit construction that adapts to the foot for 360-degree comfort. MSRP: $150

WITH ITS SIGNATURE ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS, Veja launched its first performance running shoe on April 29. Named for one of the fastest fish in the sea, the Marlin features a 6mm lower drop for a natural stride, an L-foam forefoot insert that absorbs shock and provides 80 percent energy return and a grooved construction for flexibility. The Marlin balances the stability of full ground contact with the lightness of minimalist construction. In addition, Veja brings its signature environmental perspective, evading the industry’s reliance on petroleum and instead opting for materials such as Amazonian rubber, rice waste, sugar cane and recycled plastic bottles to satisfy the technical needs of a performance shoe without impacting the environment. The Marlin joins the Condor 2, a running shoe intended for longer runs and recovery sessions. MSRP: $180


© 2021 Diversified Communications

running shorts Inov-8 Opens First Brand Store in UK

THE OUTDOORS HUB OF STAVELEY in the Lake District National Park in northern England was the setting of the recent opening of the first inov-8 brand store. Michael Price, inov-8 COO, and Matt Bland, managing director of Pete Bland Sports, cut the green ribbon as the shoe brand made its initial foray into specialty retailing with what it calls The Forge. Initially opening five days a week, from Thursdays to Mondays, The Forge sells inov-8 branded run, hike and fitness shoes and apparel for men and women. Plans call for it to become the start location for several run and hike routes of the local trails and fells, while also hosting live speaker events and product sessions. The store is a partnership with Pete Bland Sports, marking another significant relationship milestone between inov-8 and

the Kendal-based running retailer, who was the first to stock the brand’s shoes back in 2003.

“We hope The Forge will become a real hub for adventure-loving locals and tourists who enjoy running, hiking and fitness,” says Price. “We’re ex p e c t i n g a b u m p e r number of tourists to visit the Lake District this summer and we have a great location here in the Mill Yard surrounded fellow businesses popular with outdoor enthusiasts. “As well as it being somewhere to buy kit, we want it to be a place where people can come to share in their passion for the outdoors or to seek advice,” he adds.

Addaday Expands Executive Team To Propel Growth Addaday, the health and wellness lifestyle brand, has added four executives to help position the brand for continued global growth. • Luke Rowe, Chief Operations Officer: With more than 30 years in the industry, most recently as GM&VP of CEP USA, Rowe specializes in brand and product strategy, customer experience and store operations. An avid runner with more than 30 marathons and ultramarathons under his belt, Rowe spent over a decade with Fleet Feet Sports and, early in his career, made a lasting impression by leading the charge on reintroducing Brooks to the serious running market. • Jessica Boyle, Communications Officer: Bringing more than 15 years of experience in integrated marketing

anchored in sports and active lifestyle, Boyle’s background includes nearly a decade at The Ironman Group and seven years at global marketing agency Weber Shandwick. • Jeff Irvin, Head of Sales: As the former head of sales, US, for CEP Compression, Irvin has worked in the sports and medical sales space for the last 22 years specializing in compression, wound care and tissue regeneration. • Chris Lieto, Head of Partnerships: Competing professionally as a top World Ranked Athlete from 2002 to 2014, Lieto spent more than a decade focused on branding, sponsorship and earning endurance race titles. Toward the end of his athletic career, Lieto founded Base Performance Nutrition, providing nutritional supplements for endurance athletes.

Coros Partners with Shane Benzie and Running Reborn Coros Wearables has partnered with performance coach Shane Benzie and Running Reborn. The partnership aims to develop research into the scientific field of Vertical Oscillation, as well as to educate on the benefits of training with Coros Running Dynamics by pairing this data with professional movement techniques to ensure that training and recovery are optimized. Benzie’s scientific research, as well as product feedback, will help contribute to continual algorithmic improvements as well as to new features in upcoming Coros products. The partnership will also include welcoming Benzie as an approved coach for Coros Wearables, content provision, as well as the sharing of training and performance insights to improve COROS products and services.


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One More Thing ...

Some final elevator pitches from suppliers on why run specialty retailers should focus on the accessories category.

“Accessory products provide an added revenue stream and solid margins for the specialty retailer, helping with bottom line results.” — John Hetzel, Founder, Ryker Products

“We like to call this category ‘Essentials’ rather than ‘Accessories.’ It is no secret that footwear drives volume at run specialty stores, but the Essentials category represents opportunities for high-margin, add-on sales.” — Candi Whitsel, Senior VP–Marketing, Nathan

“Accessories drive incremental sales and impulse items. We also know that if a person is enjoying the retail experience they are

“With a post-COVID reality on the horizon there’s a unique fresh-start opportunity to question old assumptions. A handheld designed for specialty is more than a $30 sale, it’s a low-cost tool of engagement. Runners will be hankering to come in, look at gear and talk shop as things open up. Accessories present a rich opportunity to initiate valuable high-payout interactions with positive sales implications at the relative low cost of having a compelling and visually enticing specialty accessory tool chest.” — June Angus, Co-Founder, Amphipod 58

typically looking for other new items. Who wants to be the one in the group at the 5K without the right stuff for the race? Just saying.” — Brian Goodell, CoFounder, BibBoards

© 2021 Diversified Communications

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