Case Study
                                Runners World
                                By Laura Daues
suggestion I have is to change the name to “Athletes Outfitters, or Runners
Outfitters.” It gives Tamara a chance to refoc...
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Case Study - Runners World


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Case Study - Runners World

  1. 1. Case Study Runners World By Laura Daues Marketing: An Introduction – SCS 0978-114 Tamara Lang owns the store Runners World. It has been around since 1994 and at that time she specialized in providing avid runners with the shoes and advice that they needed. Having been a nationally ranked runner she had the knowledge and experience to help make the business profitable, which it was for the first five-six years. Sales have started to decline since then, and Tamara attributes some of the loss to people learning that jogging is hard on the body, especially the knees, and also people’s changing attitudes towards running shoes as either fashionable or casual shoes. In order to try and keep money coming in she has made a few changes. For shoes she mainly carries Nike, and she now offers an assortment of running accessories in addition. Now Tamara is debating whether there is a big enough market for her serious athletic shoes. Tamara was right to enter into an industry that she knows; she is able to bring very specialized products and services to her clients, and in the beginning her strategy worked. She has been moving away from that and trying to compete with chain stores like Lady Foot Locker and Wal-mart. Doing so has likely diluted her brand, and customers are confused as to what the focus of her store is. Is it high quality running shoes? Is it high quality active shoes? Or is it active shoes and accessories? Customers who are in the market for high quality running shoes now are unsure if Runners World is the right store to go to. What Tamara needs to do right now is to reconsider her marketing mix. I would suggest for her that she focus on running shoes for the committed runner, and that she start to carry a larger variety of brands in order to cater to a wider range of runners needs. Marketing Mix Product: Start carrying brands other than Nike and pick the best shoes. If she wants to continue to offer some accessories I think that could be a good idea, but she should focus on carrying items that you can’t find in other stores perhaps higher end fashion or specialized running ware. Target: Her target again should be serious athletes. I know in the case it states that she is unsure about changing the name of her store, but I think at this point it can do more good than harm to change it. The current store name has been diluted and blurred; she won’t lose her very loyal customers as they are loyal to her most likely for the service she offers them, not the name of the store. One
  2. 2. suggestion I have is to change the name to “Athletes Outfitters, or Runners Outfitters.” It gives Tamara a chance to refocus her store and her store’s image. Promotion: Runners Outfitters can sponsor a marathon in larger cities. In Toronto for example, the store can sponsor the run which then creates a need for high- level running shoes (if you want to participate in the marathon you will need ‘serious’ running shoes) and they will likely make their purchases at Tamara’s store. She should also take advantage of the wellness boom and offer some professional lead trail runs. In the store she could have a poster up on the front door or near the change rooms letting customers know that every Thursday afternoon people are invited to come out for a run guided along a nearby trail. It will encourage a social atmosphere and promote a desire to buy new shoes and wear nice outfits as you are going to be out with a group. Price: Since Tamara is going to be moving back towards specialty running shoes and specialty sporting gear the price point is going to be high. This way she is saying that she is not directly competing against the chains and the discount stores. Distribution: Only have stores in major cities or places with an established interest in running, as well as locations where the wellness boom is already happening. By doing so Tamara will be maximizing her exposure to her target audience; very interested-to-passionate runners who are willing to spend more money on relevant running items. Major cities hold marathons so having stores in accessible locations will benefit the flow of customers into the store. A final note--it is important for Tamara to specialize or else she risks getting lost amongst all the competition.