Fleet Feet Sports to Acquire Phidippides Encino, release, note by Larry Eder

Tom Raynor is one of the more fascinating people in this business. Tom purchased Fleet Feet from Sally Edwards many moons ago.  With the help of a superb team, lead by the quiet and smiling Jeff Phillips, Fleet Feet has 90 franchisees today. Visit a few of the 90 FF stores and you see Tom Raynors vision and Jeff Phillips focus at work. 

I ventured to several Fleet Feet conventions over the past half decade, sponsoring a cocktail party, as is my modus operandi. I do those sponsorships to a) support the brand, b) build relationships between Running Network and FF stores, but also c) to learn about successful entrepreneurs.

Tom Raynor, once asked me what I thought of the Fleet Feet meetings. I put is succinctly, " FF is Amway meeting meets South Baptist revival." Tom smiled. I was trying to be funny on one side, I did mean it as a huge complement.

The conventions are affirmation of the hard work the FF franchisees have done, and a time to focus the product and their stores, by learning from other store managers. Raynor and Phillips work closely with their stores to help them stay focused and give them fire power: with 90 stores on the front lines, most brands have a relationship with FF.

In the stores I have observed, one person has that financial thing, one has that vision thing, and both have the running thing. Fleet Feet is a particular example of what specialty running stores are doing across the country. The one store models, the several store models make it when the owners understand that they are developing a brand.

Fleet Feet Sports is acquiring Phidippides Encino, a store with a rich and vibrant past, and now, with a rich and vibrant future. Under Raynor's new passion, SRDC, he is finding a way to pass onto a second generation of ownership, the specialty running store mantle. I am curious to see what Mr. Raynor will do next! 

Fleet Feet Sports to Acquire Phidippides Encino


CARRBORO, NC - (September 27, 2010)   Specialty Retail Development Company (SRDC), Incorporated, (www.srdcinc.com), a multi-store Fleet Feet Sports franchise, announced the purchase of Phidippides Encino today.  Change of possession will take place on November 1, 2010.

Tom Raynor, Managing Director of SRDC, said, "Phidippides Encino has served the Southern California running community for 30 years and is one of the pioneering, premier specialty stores in the United States."  Established in 1980 by Charlie and Ava Hoover and Craig Chambers, Phidippides Encino was at the forefront of the first running boom and has been "continuously setting the highest standards for our industry," Raynor added.

"Phidippides Encino has become a nationally recognized brand because people place a high value on expertise, integrity, knowledge, patience and customer care that extends to everyone who walks in our door, regardless of shape, background, achievements or goals.  As Ava and I move forward with other endeavors, we trust that the legacy of Phidippides Encino will live on through Fleet Feet," said Charlie Hoover.

"We are thrilled and honored to continue the amazing legacy begun by Charlie and Ava Hoover," said Denise Corey, General Manager of the SRDC.

Trey Barnes, a long time Fleet Feet Sports employee, will head the operations of the store.  During his five years with Fleet Feet Sports, Trey has managed stores in Hickory and Carrboro, North Carolina and has most recently been instrumental in converting the Runner's High in Menlo Park, California to a Fleet Feet Sports franchise.


About Specialty Retail Development Company, Incorporated

The SRDC, which will own 17 stores around the country after the acquisition, was formed in 2007 by Tom Raynor, CEO of Fleet Feet, Inc., and a group of investors to purchase existing specialty stores and provide a path to ownership for outstanding employees. "We will continue to aggressively look for exceptional stores to acquire and exceptional people to run those stores," Raynor said. 


About Fleet Feet, Incorporated

            Fleet Feet, Incorporated is the industry leader in franchising successful, community-oriented, specialty stores serving runners, walkers and lifetime fitness enthusiasts.  Currently there are 90 Fleet Feet Sports locations nationwide.  Fleet Feet, Incorporated offers support for existing and potential franchises out of its corporate headquarters in Carrboro, North Carolina.

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