Fleet Feet Sports approached the owners of GoRun Wichita about turning their two stores here into Fleet Feet franchises.
Instead, the North Carolina-based company wound up buying the stores.
“One thing led to another,” says Kevin Swinicki, who started GoRun with Randy Mijares in 2010.
“We actually pursued Kevin and Randy,” says Fleet Feet CFO Joey Pointer. “We just really fell in love with what they did.”
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He says the philosophy behind GoRun is “what we strive for our stores to be.”
“Our intent is to basically build upon what they have in place,” Pointer says.
Swinicki says he likes that Fleet Feet has an emphasis on training programs, beginning runners and the community.
“It’s almost a mirror image of GoRun in that they know the importance of being involved in the community,” he says. “That made us feel very, very comfortable.”
An increase in apparel selection is “the one thing you will sort of see a change” in, Pointer says.
He says Fleet Feet is in negotiations with landlords at GoRun’s stores at 2556 N. Maize Road and 2350 N. Greenwich.
“We have no intent to move either location,” Pointer says.
Fleet Feet has 140 stores nationwide. This is the 40-year-old company’s first entry into Kansas.
“We call ourselves a 40-year overnight success story,” Pointer says.
Joel Stansloski, who formerly was with the Fleet Feet in Tulsa, will be the company’s day-to-day operator in Wichita.
“Tulsa is one of our most successful franchises,” Pointer says.
Swinicki and Mijares will transition the management to Stansloski over the next couple of weeks.
Swinicki says he’ll still be involved with some race management and also will finish up some training programs with GoRun.
Then, he says he’ll have some time to relax and be with his family and try something new.
“I’m going to plant a garden.”