Friday, November 25, 2011

Support Your Local Running Stores during Small Business Saturday

It’s Black Friday and there’s no doubt about it ....the holiday shopping season has arrived. Crowds mob the aisles and parking lots of national retailers to score deals on merchandise.

If you’ve got a runner on your gift list, consider spending your dollars with a locally-owned business. American Express launched Small Business Saturday last year to encourage shoppers to include small businesses on their holiday shopping list.

Here in Atlanta, we’ve got plenty of local running stores to choose from. Do your part to help support businesses that in turn support our communities.

Big Peach Running Co.
With six locations in the metro Atlanta area, Big Peach Running Co. is a local chain that delivers a neighborhood experience. I like the fact that my neighborhood store in Decatur hosts group runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings along with Saturday mornings. Store hours on Saturday are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fleet Feet
Fleet Feet is a nationwide chain, but its stores are individually owned and operated by local small business owners. Fleet Feet Decatur's owners, Clay and Karen Scarborough, live in walking distance to their store -- you don't get more local than that. They’ll gladly welcome your business on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One Step At A Time
Charles Cope opened his running store in the neighborhood where he grew up. One Step At A Time has called the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur home for 10 years. The Oakhurst Running Club meets at the store for its Wednesday night and Saturday morning runs. Store hours on Saturday are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Atlanta’s Olympic great, Jeff Galloway, started Phidippides in the 70’s. A true visionary, Jeff recognized the need to offer both novice and experienced runners a shopping experience where they could get advice from staff trained in the science of shoe fitting. Phidippides’ two Atlanta locations are opened on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

West Stride
West Stride’s owner, Genie Beaver, hosts some of the best training runs I’ve joined. Genie greets runners with a warm welcome, beverages along with running routes and a great post-run spread of breakfast treats. Genie’s also a big supporter of Girls On The Run, on of my favorite youth programs. West Stride is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.