Charm City Run, the popular running shoe and apparel retailer, will be expanding operations next year with the grand opening of a fifth store located in Locust Point.
“We were just looking for a good spot, centrally located for the downtown running community,” said Deirdre Weadock, who will be the new store’s manager.
Weadock has worked part-time for six years at the Timonium Charm City Run location, which is the flagship of the retailer's current four stores.
“I think it’s the customer service experience that we provide,” she said of the chain’s popularity. “We really get to know our customers. Fitting shoes isn’t just a quick measuring, slap on a pair of shoes that look cool thing.”
When a customer comes in to purchase a shoe, trained store employees evaluate the customer’s needs on several factors:
- Injury history
- Running goals
- Weight analysis
- Walking in barefoot and with shoes
- Run on the treadmill
“On top of that we have all kinds of training groups and fun runs and interactions with vendors—other people that sell running shoes, in order to better get to know the products that we have,” Weadock said. “It’s like a little running community. Even though it’s a retail store there’s a lot more to it than just selling shoes.”
But the focus at Charm City Run doesn’t rest squarely on the comfortable soles of shoe sales. The company has a history of galvanizing the running community through marathons and charitable efforts.
“It is 100 percent his goal that no matter what we’re doing, we’re always giving more back than any other local retailer that we possibly can,” Weadock said.
If a customer, for instance, donates a pair of shoes he or she will receive a discount on a new pair. The donated shoes will be redistributed to people in need. Another example Weadock offered were the “charity days” where sales proceeds benefit specific causes. Charm City has a history of donating to 1% For The Planet, for example.
“It’s our time that we’re investing in our customers and our community to foster the atmosphere that encourages people to get out running, lead healthier lifestyles and give back to our community,” Weadock said. “Running is not going anywhere. We’re a good store with a good mission with good employees.”
The new Charm City Run location will be opening next April in McHenry Row.