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“I want the customer to come in, buy a pair of shoes and talk to us, dripping with sweat.”

John Stanton

H E S T O R Y B E H I N D J O H N S T A N T O N S T R A N S F O R - m a t i o n i n t o a r u n n e r a n d e n t r e p r e n e u r h a s b e e n r e p e a t e d s o f r e q u e n t l y i t s p r a c t i c a l l y l e g e n d . I n 1 9 8 3 , w e i g h i n g i n a t 2 3 8 p o u n d s a n d s m o k i n g t w o p a c k s o f c i g a r e t t e s a d a y , t h e g r o c e r y e x - T ecutive did a three-kilometre run with his son. It felt like a marathon. Stanton quit smoking, began jogging, and a year later launched the Running Room in an old house in Edmonton. The company now has 75 outlets in Canada and the United States. The following Stanton quotes are from the May/June 2003 issue of the Retail Council of Canada’s Canadian Retailer magazine.

My motivation was fear. When I fin shed that first little fun run, I

better. Over a period of time, I lost weight, I got into shape and I

felt really good. In business, you can do the same thing – be the

best you can be.

I like the term “rumpus room.” We’ve spent a lot of time, ef-

fort, skill and money designing our stores. I want the customer to come in, buy a pair of shoes and talk to us about their running.

I also want that customer to visit in the middle of a run, drip- ping with sweat, to get a drink of wate , say hello and pick up a

race form. The frequency of customers v siting our stores s very high. Often, they’ll come in just to talk to our staff about a local

run, or ask a question about training. We’ve created a clubhouse

atmosphere. We don’t want it too fancy because it wouldn’t be comfortable for people who are running. I’m passionate about people, I’m passionate about running,

thought, “My goodness, I have two sons and I’m in bad shape. I

and I’m passionate about being successful. And I want to make sure I can share that with the team. My biggest achievement to

have to do something about it.” I just wanted to enjoy my family

more and enjoy life more.

date is the fact that we’ve built something far bigger than one

The thing I learned about running is that I had to be the best I could be that day. The next da , I wanted to be a little bit

person. I’m part of it. But if I’m out for a jog and get clipped by a bus, the Running Room will go on.




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