The Running Room is proudly a family-owned company. It originated in 1984 out of founder John Stanton’s wish to purchase quality running shoes from someone knowledgeable about the sport. New to the sport of running, John had a thirst for knowledge as well as a desire to buy the right product. This entrepreneurial retailer decided to fill a niche in the marketplace by opening a small one-room store in the renovated living room of an old house in Edmonton, hence the name, “Running Room.” The concept was highly successful, and the stores have since expanded to over 100 locations across Canada and the United States.
Running Room’s reputation has been built upon product innovation, quality and knowledge of the sport of running. Running Room’s unique private label assortment was developed to provide customers with the best in style, functionality and fabric innovations at a reasonable price.
The Running Room is truly a store for runners by runners. All team members are runners whose philosophy is that if you’re out there running on the same roads as the customers, you can better relate to them.
In addition to the best selection of top brand-name running shoes and apparel at the Running Room, you will find an incredible number of customer services. It offers training programs such as Walking, Learn to Run, 5K Training, Marathon and Half Marathon training, 10K Training and For Women Only Running. With over 800,000 training program graduates to date, the success of these programs is evident. The Running Room training programs are committed to educating customers on a lifestyle of fitness. These various programs meet the needs of a wide variety of customers, ranging from those who are just getting into a fitness routine to those contemplating a marathon. Running Room’s free Run Club meets twice weekly on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings where runners of all levels run in a social, supportive group. This social component brought to running by the Running Room builds a true sense of community in each location.
Communicating with its customers via its in-store team, its website, Running Room Magazine, forums, Twitter and Facebook keeps the company agile and innovative.
The opening of the Walking Room expanded the goal of the Running Room to be as inclusive as possible while delivering its active living message. The Running Room carries national brands like Adidas, Asics, New Balance and Saucony, as well as the Running Room’s private label line of apparel. Running Room Fit-Wear® and Running Room Extreme (RRX) Fit-Wear® are designed and tested to perform under the extreme weather conditions faced by North Americans.
John’s sons were the catalysts who inspired John to run and found the Running Room. The Running Room has been here for 30 years. John Jr., and Jason have been partners for seven years.
John Stanton Jr. is one of the managing partners at the Running Room with responsibilities in Retail Operations, Human Resources and National Events. John started with the Running Room teaching the original learn to run clinic while running track for the University of Alberta and eventually winning the provincial triathlon championships. While John’s competitive days in track and triathlon are long behind him, a great day still starts with a 5 km run. John enjoys travelling throughout North America staying in touch with our passionate customers and over 1200 team members. John is married to Dr. Nancy McNeilly and is a proud father of two young children who keep him very active.
What started as a simple step of Jason Stanton following his big brother on a school morning running club, 30 years later the Running Room is North America’s largest chain of running stores. Jason started his career early in the Running Room, as a 12 year old on opening day he was sweeping the back room. Since then he has gone on to manage various areas of the business from the retail stores to logistics, purchasing and finally a managing partner. Jason has been active in his community sitting on various committees that include Kids with Cancer, Run for the Cure and the Retail Council of Canada. In 2003 Jason was proud to be on the local organizing committee to host the IAAF World Road Race championships. Jason has continued to be active in running, competing in many road races, triathlons and over 20 marathons. He also competed in 3 Ironman events including the Hawaii Ironman. Jason has been happily married for 15 years to Melissa and is the proud father of 2 beautiful girls.
“We believe that the Running Room philosophy and our in-store environment are unlike any other retail business in North America. While we offer clothing, shoes, products and accessories for walkers and runners, we also help people to change their lives through fitness activities,” says the Stanton family.
John adds: “Through the Running Room, people can gain a tremendous sense of belonging that comes from walking or running alongside others who share similar goals. I think the Running Room is very important in the eyes of its customers, because we think about their well-being.”
The family-owned company is now North America’s largest chain of specialty running stores.
The Running Room brand will always be driven by its emphasis on continuous improvement, customer service and community involvement.
The success of the Running Room is reliant on the fact that it doesn’t just sell shoes and equipment; it sells a commitment to active living.
“True success is never knowing if you’re working or playing,” says John Stanton.