Runner’s World Case Study Essay

Runners World Case Study Marketing: An Introduction Tamara Long started Runners World in 1994 at the age of twenty four. At the time, she was a nationally ranked runner and felt she could provide avid runners with advice and shoes they needed. With that under her belt she had the knowledge and experience to make her business a profitable one, and did for the first five or so years. Since then her sales were at a decline which she feels is contributed to the notion people have that running isn’t good for the knees and people started buying running shoes for fashion or day to day wear.

Tamara committed to the Nike brand, however in the late 90’s the quality began to slip which hurt the retailer. Now Nike has started to develop other kinds of athletic shoes for all sorts of activities, and she is debating on whether there is a market for her serious running shoe. SWOT: Strengths: Branded, runners knowledge and experience, capital, customer base, flexibility and business smart. Weakness: Single Brand, target market, consumer changes/interests Threat: Similar stores, large chain stores, discount stores

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Opportunity: add other products/brands, big run sponsorships Marketing Mix: Carry brands other than Nike, pick brands that specialize in running ranging in high price ranges. If she still wants to offer accessories, maybe focus on high end runner fashions that you can’t find in the chain stores. Target: She should continue with the avid runners. Possibly changing the name would be a good idea and bring in a fresh start with a new name. Those that have been long time customers will continue to shop there and will know it is still her that owns the store.

Promotion: She can set up promotions even before the name and get help from those loyal customers on their ideas of a name. As well, she may want to look at promoting in marathons or walks and promote the shoes that would be best suited for these types of events. With her experience, she can also have practice runs for people who are training for these types of events. Price: If Tamara focuses on the avid runners and specializes in the serious runner shoes and runner ashion, I would say the price point would be high, this way she doesn’t need to compete with the chain stores. Distribution: Her best bet would be to set up stores in the major cities where there is a strong presence in avid runners and locations where health boom is prominent. This will help in targeting the right people and those people willing to spend the money on the quality. Also, she should note where major marathons are held so she can also get the flow of those customers into her stores.

Her intentions and thoughts of entering into the industry were correct, she had the knowledge and experience to help the avid runner and at the beginning this strategy worked. She now has to try and focus on how to increase profitability again without diluting the brand or her intentions, as well knowing that she now has to compete with stores like Wal-mart and Lady Foot Locker. She needs to reconsider her marketing mix and target market. My thoughts are that she continues to focus on running shoes for the avid runners, but start to carry a larger variety of brands to provide a wider range selection to them.

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