The Business of Running

Running is big business. Just look at the number of ads for shoes out there, Garmins and other GPS devices, as well as the many different options for organized training that exists. In 2002, there was an estimated10,485,000 runners who ran at least 100 days in the year. In addition, the running/jogging shoe industry sold $2.71 billion in 2002. That is a lot of shoes. And I would bet that these numbers are even higher now.

From a pure business perspective, I like the way that the Running Room has grown its business. There is a wonderful case study here in the power of focusing on the building of a community rather then just the business of selling runners and other accessories. Many runners visit a Running Room store at least twice a week for the Wednesday and Sunday runs. These runs are open to anyone. In addition, many runners come in one other night to attend their clinic. What an amazing way to build traffic through the store – at least one of these persons is going to buy something.

A friend I brought out this morning to the run was amazed at the community of runners that exists. I believe it finally convinced him to join me in my half-marathon clinic. That is one more clinic participant and I can almost bet, one more customer for a $120 – $200 pair of runners.

Note: Rereading this post it appears that I may have some sort of affiliation with the Running Room. I assure you that the only affiliation I have is through this website, where I provide a link to their products and receive a commission if a purchase is made online. I do not work for the Running Room in any other way – I am just amazed at the business model and how successful it has been.