Running Insight

OCTOBER 1, 2017

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G o back two years and ask Lu An Carone-Rhodes for an honest prediction of Running Princess' future and she would've scoffed at the notion of a brick-and-mor- tar retail shop. "Like everyone else, I assumed people were all shopping online and from dis- count shops," Carone-Rhodes says. In 2015, Running Princess was an online operation selling "princessy" t-shirts alongside a curated selection of about 15 items and three lines of apparel from other female-owned businesses. Brick-and-mortar retail was a distant thought. Two years later, though, things have changed mightily as Carone-Rhodes has expanded Running Princess well beyond its corner of the worldwide web and opened a pair of physical storefronts in Oregon. That decision has not only well exceeded Carone-Rhodes' expectations, driving sales and merchandise expansion, but also bucked the prevailing ideology that Main Street specialty retail is dying a slow, agonizing death. "In many ways," Carone-Rhodes says, "this doesn't make any sense." Origins of a specialty business In 2015, while attending a half-marathon expo in Florida, Carone-Rhodes encountered Running Princess, a then-fledgling graphic t-shirt company. Intrigued by the company's branding and unique niche, Carone-Rhodes inquired about the company and found an owner interested in selling. That piqued Carone- Rhodes' entrepreneurial spirit. A Royal Bet Above, left to right: Kathy Engstrom, Sales Associate, Princess Athletic, Bend; Kathleen Quinney, Store Manager, Princess Athletic, Bend; Lauri Morris, Store Manager & Director of Online Marketing, Running Princess, Corvallis; Emily Meagher, Assistant Manager, Princess Athletic, Bend. 2 © 2017 Formula4media LLC. RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Formula4Media, LLC. © 2017 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published twice each month, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Formula4Media, LLC, P.O. Box 23-1318, Great Neck, NY 11023. Tel: 516-305-4709. Jeff Nott Jeff Gruenhut .................. Christina Henderson .... Katie O'Donohue Sam Selvaggio.............. Daemon Filson Editor-in-Chief ........ Mark Sullivan: Managing Editor ............ Cara Griffin: Publisher .....................Troy Leonard: SUBSCRIBE BACK ISSUES Advertise HOW A SMALL ONLINE RETAILER TOOK A CHANCE ON BRICK & MORTAR AND WON. BY DANIEL P. SMITH

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