Road Runner Sports is for the running -- or walking -- man or woman. The retailer, known for its wide selection, sells athletic shoes and gear for those who go for the aerobic burn by pounding out the miles on their feet. Road Runner offers dozens of brands, including adidas, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, and NIKE. The company operates about 20 retail outlets in 10 states on the East Coast and in the West (about half its locations are in California). The stores, which average about 8,500 sq. ft., feature gait-analysis machines, running coaches, customized orthotics fitting, and a test-run area. Road Runner also has an online store. The company was founded in 1983.
Despite the economic downturn, Road Runner Sports has been faring well and is on the road to retail expansion. In 2011 it is expected to open a new location in Carlsbad, California, adding to its existing network of 10 stores in the state. The company aims to eventually operate 100 stores in the US.
To keep those brick-and-mortar stores stocked with merchandise that's in high demand, Road Runner Sports relies on data gleaned from its e-commerce site. Search information from the website is mined to reveal hot trends in athletic footwear and other merchandise. The company's website also calculates body mass as well as provides running logs and advice for both novice and expert runners. – less