Dick’s to Open Running Shop

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is on the run.

The Pittsburgh-based retailer announced today it will debut a specialty running concept called True Runner.

Set to open in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood this summer, the store will include knowledgeable staff, technical running shoes, apparel and accessories, according to a company statement. The shop also will also host community events, training runs and other activities — long the hallmark of running specialty independents in the market.

“We’re excited to announce our new retail model, True Runner, which will outfit local runners with the best running apparel, footwear and equipment,” Joe Schmidt, president and COO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, said in a release. “In our continued efforts to explore new ways to serve athletes and build upon Dick’s Sporting Goods’ already deep commitment to the sport in Pittsburgh, we believe True Runner will provide a top-of-the-line experience to those who enjoy the sport.”

Dick’s is the latest athletic chain to test the specialty run waters. In 2010, Foot Locker debuted its Run by Foot Locker concept, a dedicated running location with treadmills for gait analysis and a focus on performance footwear styles for men and women, in New York’s Union Square. Foot Locker now operates three locations.

And in September of last year, Finish Line acquired the 18-store Running Co. chain for $8.5 million and assumption of debt. In March, the retailer partnered with private equity firm Gart Capital Partners to grow the chain and launch an e-commerce presence.

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