Shoe store scores a big industry honor

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I’ve worked at several daily newspapers that ran business briefs based on press releases like this one from our friends* at Ann Arbor Running Co. That usually meant an editor digesting a page or two of copy into three or four paragraphs. Here at The Ann, we don’t have a business page to fill with racks of such briefs, so when we get a release, we just forward the whole thing online to you, our voracious reader. So check out the honor the A2 store received:

Ann Arbor Running Company was named one of the 50 Best Running Stores in America® for 2016. The presentation took place earlier this month at The Running Event®, the industry’s major trade show and conference, in Orlando, Florida.

The 50 Best Running Stores in America is sponsored by the running magazine Competitor, Gatorade Endurance and Running Insight, the leading trade publication for the running business.

The selection of Ann Arbor Running Company capped off a yearlong search to determine the running stores that offer excellent in-store service and have powerful connections to their local communities. “Runners can buy shoes anywhere, but specialty running stores provide more than a transaction. They provide an educational, inspirational experience,” said Mark Sullivan, editor of Running Insight. “And the very best of those stores are the ones that make the list.”

Ann Arbor Running Company was one of the stores that emerged as one of the 50 Best after a rigorous evaluation process that began when runners nominated their favorite stores for consideration through www.competitor.com More than 16,000 nominations for almost 200 different stores were submitted by runners throughout the country.

Those nominations were vetted and more than 120 stores were evaluated for their connections and service to their local communities. That process included an analysis of the stores’ work with local charities and running groups, as well as the clinics and education they provide to their customers.

The final step in determining the list was a “Mystery Shopping” report conducted by The Franklin Retail Solutions, the leading in-store merchandising company in the sports industry. Franklin mystery shoppers anonymously visited the stores to buy a pair of shoes and rated the stores on the service they provided using 25 different criteria. The criteria started with “how promptly were you greeted?” and continued through shoe fitting techniques all the way to the check-out process.

“Ann Arbor Running Company should be very proud to be on this list,” Sullivan said. “And the runners in their hometown are fortunate to have such a great store available to them.”

The full list of The 50 Best Running Stores in America can be seen at http://running.competitor.com/2016/11/news/the-50-best-running-stores-in-america-for-2016_159449

Competitor Group owns leading magazines and websites in the running and endurance space including Competitor, Women’s Running and Triathlete, as well as the extremely popular Rock’n Roll Marathon series. Competitor Group delivers the core of the active lifestyle audience through more than 2 BILLION IMPRESSIONS annually through events, print, digital, mobile and social media platforms. This audience not only participates in the endurance sports space, it also champions engagement, encourages and motivates their communities to lead healthier and more active lives.

Gatorade Endurance is an elite line of sports nutrition products from Gatorade. Grounded in years of hydration and sports nutrition research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and used by some of the world’s best athletes, the Gatorade Endurance line of products delivers the fuel, fluids and nutrients elite endurance athletes need before, during and after a workout, training session or a race.

Running Insight is published by Formula 4 Media, LLC. The company, based in Great Neck, N.Y., established in 2005, produces nine publications: Running Insight, Footwear Insight, Sports Insight, Outdoor Insight, Team Insight, Textile Insight, Trend Insight, Inside Insight, and Sportstyle, and two trade shows and conferences for the active lifestyle business, The Running Event and Sportstyle.

The 50 Best Running Stores in America and The Running Event are registered trademarks of Formula4 Media, LLC.

* Disclosure: Ann Arbor Running Co. has advertised with The Ann in the past, as you can see in the image up top.

If you have local news you want to get out there, send your press release to talk [at] theannmag.com.

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.