Running Specialty Group Adds Another Chain

The Running Specialty Group just got bigger.

The Denver-based organization — a joint venture between Finish Line Inc. and Gart Capital Partners — has acquired the eight-store Running Fit chain, which has locations in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Traverse City, Mich. This brings RSG’s total number of stores to 57.

According to a statement, Running Fit founders Randy Step and Steve Angerman will remain with the business, as will Trevor Step, Randy Step’s son and GM of the retail team.

“I am excited and proud for Running Fit to become part of the RSG retail team,” Randy Step said in the statement. “The only major changes will be in the back end of the store and the way buying and receiving is done. Running Fit will stay Running Fit.”

“[Michigan] is a new market for us, so we’re excited about it. This helps us fill in the Midwest,” RSG President Bill Kirkendall told FN. “Running Fit is a strong brand name up there, and they’ve done a tremendous job.”

Industry vet Kirkendall, who assumed the president’s position at RSG on April 25, said that in his new role he plans to focus on helping the group keep pace with its increasing size.

“We’ll continue to grow through acquisitions and organic growth, and I’ll be focused on that,” he said. “We’ve had tremendous growth over the last two years and now is the time to focus on the operations.”

Kirkendall, who will relocate to Denver, noted the company is actively looking at new targets. “We’ll continue to look for opportunities within the space,” he said.