Re-opening of specialist running store

Advance Performance are most definitely still running – the new way!

Re-opening - customers and staff social distancing at Cambridge store checkout
Re-opening – customers and staff social distancing at Cambridge store checkout

Advance Performance, the specialist running and triathlon stores in Peterborough & Cambridge have recently re-opened to the public this June after closing their doors in March for the COVID-19 lockdown.

In 2019 the business celebrated its 20th birthday, but the last months have meant facing unprecedented challenges, in tune with countless others independent retailers.

As a specialist running store the closure meant they were no longer able to offer their key gait analysis service. Gait analysis is the process the stores’ expert staff use to video runners on in-store treadmills, to fit running shoes to suit the way each customer runs.

So, with staff furloughed, the directors quickly set about finding a solution, creating a brand-new webstore selling running shoes, clothing & accessories online at competitive prices. Plus, their real secret weapon, the Running Shoe Guru!

Several social media and mailshot campaigns supported a major drive to make customers aware Advance Performance were still running, and could offer them help. Enter company director and shoe buyer extraordinaire, Matt Parker the Running Shoe Guru, who shared by phone or email his fantastic sum of knowledge and oodles of experience in gait analysis, to assist customers who needed to buy new running trainers.

The directors worked tirelessly throughout lockdown, answering questions, packing, posting and delivering orders.

Samantha Hale, CEO and company founder, said “We never believed we would be so busy with our doors closed and it was fantastic that we could continue to help runners with their choice of running shoe.

“But we also needed to think about the future and what would happen when we reopened.”

Lots of planning went into the new store layouts and prompted changes that have brought about more choice for customers long term.

Both stores opened on 15 June with their famous gait analysis available as a bookable service, with staff and customers required to wear masks and gloves during the gait analysis process, helping enormously with social distancing and providing the ability to control the numbers within the stores.

Samantha Hale, continued “We always strive to do the very best we can for our customers.

“We hope that by providing more options, our customers will be able to benefit from having the ability to book gait analysis only when needed and our terrific online and Try and Buy discounts when they just want to buy new running shoes.

“Our COVID-19 experience has allowed us to take a look at our business, adapt and change. We believe going forward it could be a positive thing.”

The Running Shoe Guru service still continues, so that anyone who prefers can still receive help without booking in-store gait analysis.

 

Press contact – Jenny Mogford