If you struggle to find running shoes that are the right fit and do everything you need them to, it is probably time you visited The Athlete’s Foot. Not only are the team amazing, but their expertise and fitting technology can really assist in improving your running performance and comfort.
We thought we would catch up with Ben the owner of the Springfield store and find out more about his business.
When did your store first open in the centre and where?
The store opened in 2007 in Orion Springfield Central, originally out on Main street, in the middle of the shopping centre.
Why did you choose The Athlete’s Foot as your business?
I was working at The Athlete’s Foot while I was studying at Uni. I woke up one morning, very excited because I was going to work that day and not to uni… It was a switch for me. I realised what I was truly passionate about (and it wasn’t my degree). I spoke to Ritchie, the previous Franchisee of Springfield, and told him that I wanted to be an owner of the Springfield store.
He embraced the idea and I began working fulltime and worked up to a management role. My goal was to purchase a store within 5 years and Ritchie gave me that opportunity when he decided to retire. I am eternally grateful to Ritchie for giving me my start and allowing me to pursue my passion.
What do you love most about your job?
I get to meet new people every day and become part of their fitness or health story. I love seeing people achieve their goals (no matter how big or small) and I love the community we have in Springfield.
How do you keep yourself fit and healthy?
Apart from chasing after a two year old, I go to the gym 3 days a week and focus on healthy eating habits.
What is something people might not know about your store?
Most people are very surprised to hear we are a local, small business. Although we have locations all over Australia, we are all about the community and tailoring our range to suit what our customers want us to stock. Being able to supply product that is specific to our communities needs is a fantastic advantage.
What is a common problem people come to your store to fix and how do you help?
The more common injuries we tend to see people with is plantar facia issues, sore knees and tendon issues. Depending on the severity of the issue, we usually refer people onto a medical professional that can help with their injury. If they already have that advice, we take them through our comprehensive fitting service to help find the best fitting footwear we can. We also offer our customers a 30 day fit guarantee. So they can try the shoes and make sure they do the job required of them.
How do you support your local community?
We sponsor the local free community running group (Springfield Runners Group). We also sponsor the Great South Run, The Greater Springfield Marathon and The Run For Life. We have a national sponsorship with Park Run that allows us to come out and celebrate with Park Run. We also sponsor a number of local schools through our School Rewards program. This program is a fantastic fundraiser for the schools – for every shoe any family member purchases throughout the year, we donate $5 a pair back to their school. We do this for close to 20 local schools throughout Springfield, Ipswich and the Forest Lake Area. We also do an Old Shoe Drive at least once a year, where we collect your old runners and donate them to remote or overseas communities that can use them.
What do you think sets you apart from other similar stores?
All of my staff have a genuine interest in fitness and/or running. They are my best asset and without them, the service and technology we have in store would only deliver half the results to our customers. They are what sets us apart from other sports stores. I am very proud of the service they deliver and the way they are constantly going above and beyond for our customers and delivering a positive experience.