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Weekend warriors and avid runners can all relate to the struggle of buying a new pair of shoes. Comfort, fit, and support are crucial to any runner’s success – and the wrong pair of shoes can not only cause discomfort but can lead to injury.
However, the process of buying shoes is similar to the way it has always been. Walking into a shoe store, going through the awkward process of looking around, finally having to ask for help, get your foot measured. After all that, your size may not even be in stock. Then what?
This is where Fleet Feet’s new “Fleet Feet Drop Shop” is looking to change the game of shoe shopping for good with a combination of retail innovation, personalization, friendly customer service, and fast delivery.
Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 182 locations in 37 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, North Carolina. Committed to offering personalized outfitting, robust running programs and rewards, community support and outreach, and 24/7 brand access at fleetfeet.com, each Fleet Feet location serves runners based on the belief that “Running Changes Everything.”
With a focus on innovation and delivering an exceptional customer experience, Fleet Feet’s Drop Shop is a first-of-its-kind retail concept shopping experience located in Portland, Oregon. The shop combines the brand’s 3D foot scanning technology and personalized outfitting experience with two-day home delivery of the most popular running shoe brands.
In addition to 3D foot scanning, Fleet Feet Drop Shop outfitters will utilize Fit Engine, a robust algorithm that assists in shoe selection through purchase insights from the over 2 million scans captured at Fleet Feet stores nationwide since 2017. 3D foot scanning, Fit Engine, and the one-on-one expert advice provided by store associates make up Fleet Feet's fit id personalized outfitting experience.
Store outfitters will help find footwear solutions for customers to try on in-store based on the customer's foot size, width, and needs. Fleet Feet Drop Shop carries try-on samples of the top 35 men's and women's shoe models from brands including Brooks, Hoka ONE ONE, New Balance, and On. Once the customer decides on the shoe, the outfitter will order the model in the color choice of the customer, who then receives the product via home delivery, thanks to free two-day shipping.
"There's nothing more frustrating for the customer than not having the shoe size and color they want in stock," says Wade Pannell, owner of Fleet Feet Drop Shop. "We saw an opportunity to develop a concept shop sized for the urban retail environment that doubled down on convenience and selection for the customer. At about 1,300 square feet, Fleet Feet Drop Shop has a smaller footprint than a traditional Fleet Feet location, but we've removed the constraints of physical inventory in order to maximize every square foot of the customer experience, and ultimately, the customer's satisfaction in receiving the shoe model and size they need in the color they want."
In a time where many view brick and mortar retail and stale and outdated, Fleet Feet is looking to simplify and enhance the shoe purchasing process for loyal runners of all experience levels. By providing a frictionless and memorable experience powered by personalization, more runners will have the chance to experience the joy of a fresh, new pair of shoes specifically designed to help them reach their fitness goals.
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