Specialty Running Picks Up Speed Despite Challenges Posed by the Internet, Big Box Stores, and Direct-to-Consumer Selling
AUSTIN – The Running Event, considered North America’s four most important days in the specialty running business, returns to Austin, Texas, on November 28 – December 1, 2017, at the Austin Convention Center. The conference and trade show comes at a time when stores and brands indicate their business is beginning to show signs of an uptick.
In fact, registration for TRE 2017 is running ahead over this time last year, according to Troy Leonard, show director. “Specialty retailers have a can-do attitude and we’re seeing a nice rebound despite on-going competition from the internet, big box stores, and brands going direct-to-consumer.”
Increasingly, serious runners, of which there were 17 million road race finishers in 2016 (source: Running USA), are returning back to specialty stores for the expert advice, range of brands, and sense of community that specialty shops offer. In addition to advice on the right shoes for their needs, specialty shops also offer knowledgeable recommendations on socks, training aids, technical apparel and nutrition.
Approximately 2,700 industry professionals will attend, attracted by more than 250 brands, including more than 50 first-time exhibitors, displaying the latest in footwear, apparel and accessories. Exhibitors include platinum sponsors ASICS, Balega, Brooks, New Balance, Nike, On, and Saucony.
TRE 2017 Highlights
- The Sports Bra Salon will educate retailers on proper fitting and merchandising techniques. It is sponsored by Anita, Body Glove, Enell, Handful, Moving Comfort and Shock Absorber.
- Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods, will be the main speaker on Tuesday, November 28. Robb, who started his career as the owner of a 1,000 square-foot health food store, will talk about the importance of creating a “winning culture” in stores and will also be interviewed on stage by Chris Farley of Pacers, who also interviewed Robb for his podcast “Pace the Nation” (www.runpacers.com/podcast/).
- Tom Griffen, a former store owner and retail trainer, hosts a session on Wednesday, November 29, called, “What We Can Learn From Actors, Gas Station Attendants and Orchestra Conductors About Specialty Retail.”
- Running Industry Association (RIA) and Superfeet will host a two-part “Shoe Guru” program in which employees can be certified as “Shoe Guru” fitters. There will be an exhibition of a working shoe manufacturing machine adjacent to the Superfeet booth.
- The Vendor-Retailer Speed Dating Lunch presented by the Running Industry Association on Wednesday, November 29, will introduce 14 brands to retailers in a fun, fast-paced format.
- Nland Surf Park, the only surfing destination of its kind in North America, is host to the Indie 5K race on Thursday, November 30. There will be pro surfing demos and opportunities for retailers to try surfing on machine-made whitewater, knee-to-waist-high, and steep, high performance waves.
- The revamped Best Stores Awards dinner will take place at the Hilton Austin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 30. Saucony will introduce its Saucony Run for Good Award to recognize a retailer who inspires kids to run their world through community-based youth running programs; Meb Keflezighi, one of the greatest ambassadors for the sport, will receive TRE’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.
- And one more first: Armadillo Races on Tuesday, November 28. Organizers promise armadillos will be treated with respect and none will be harmed during the event.
The full TRE agenda can be seen at http://www.therunningevent.com/agenda.html
Download the TRE 2017 planner here:
Hotel registration and show badges are still available for qualified specialty retailers at:
TRE 2017 is launching a program for race directors and employees of running stores who are involved in the events business. Registration includes attendance at the The BibRave 100 Awards (thebibrave100.com) luncheon on Wednesday, November 29, honoring the best races and the best race directors in America.
Race directors can register for TRE 2017 at:
Trade show hours: Nov. 29 from 3 to 7 p.m.; Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2017.
Formula4 Media, based in Great Neck, N.Y., established in 2005, also produces nine publications: Running Insight, Footwear Insight, Sports Insight, Sports Insight Extra, Outdoor Insight, Team Insight, Textile Insight, Trend Insight, and Sportstyle.
Media on assignment can pre-register in advance by contacting Jeff Blumenfeld, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRE 2017 Director of Communications
203 326 1200