CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
The specialty e-commerce site targets runners with content and gear.
The Finish Line Inc. and Running Specialty Group have launched Run.com, an online store and information resource for runners.
The new site features nearly 1,500 styles of shoes and apparel, and content about running including articles on topics such as how to run farther and faster, injury prevention, and speed recovery.
Run.com has its roots in Finish Line’s 2011 purchase of The Running Co., an 18-store retail chain, with the intention of expanding the number of stores and creating an e-commerce business around it. The chain formed the base of Finish Line’s Running Specialty Group, a joint venture with private equity firm Gart Capital Partners. Finish Line is the group’s majority owner.
Gart invested $10 million into Finish Line’s efforts to tap into the $1 billion specialty running market.
Run.com serves as a resource for all current—and future—retail stores owned by Running Specialty Group. Plans include a web-based customer loyalty program, says Finish Line, No. 151 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500.
“Our customers now have a 24/7 resource to learn about the sport and get the best gear in the market whether there is a store nearby or not,” says Ken Gart, managing partner of Running Specialty Group. “With customers increasingly shopping online, we want to be available through any channel they prefer.”
In addition to e-commerce and mobile commerce sites, Finish Line has 638 stores in malls across the U.S.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2013 ended June 2, Finish Line reported:
- Web sales increased by 28.1% compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The company did not break out sales in dollars.
- Total sales of $319.0 million, up by 6.5% from $299.5 million.
- Comparable-store sales, which include e-commerce, increased 8.0%.
Net income of $12.1 million compared with net income of $16.4 million in Q1 2012.