5NEWS is partnering with the Rogers Lowell Chamber of Commerce for a series called Focus on the Economy: Local Business in Northwest Arkansas.
We're looking at a local business in Bentonville, Rush Running. The owners both ran track at the University of Arkansas. And when customers walk through their doors, they try to make each one feel like a star athlete.
Rush Running store in Bentonville believes their one on one personalized service sets them apart from the average running store. Owner Mike Rush and his wife ran track at the University of Arkansas, and four years ago they opened Rush Running. He says they've come a long way.
"You know we opened the shop and there were days that I bought a power bar so we wouldn't have a zero dollar day,” Rush says. “And I'm going home panicking."
Now, Rush Running has expanded, opening another store in Fayetteville. Rush says he's been able to do it by making customers feel like world class athletes.
"When they come in the door it doesn’t matter if they're walking running they've never ran before,” Rush says. “There are so many people that are just trying to lose weight and guys that have lost 200 pounds come in the door and we make them feel comfortable."
A Gate Analysis is one of the first things every new customer does. A short run on the treadmill helps Rush and his team determine how you run, and what kind of shoes you need. But it goes beyond the store. Every week Rush meets with his customers for a group run, where he helps them train for free.
"We do a different speed workout every Monday,” Rush says. “And it's all based on their goals. You don’t have to be fast. We have some people that just walk. Walk slash run."
Rush says it’s those small things that have built a large and loyal customer base, and helped him stay competitive.
"There's always the big box stores,” Rush says. “There’s always going to be online. But I think if we stay true to how we do things, I think we'll always have that loyal following. It's worked thus far."
If you want to come out to the Focus on the Economy Business Luncheon it will be held Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Lunch is ten dollars.
You'll hear from Congressman Steve Womack as well other state and local business leaders.