Frontrunners is owned by a couple of local guys in Victoria, with three stores plus a couple of other non-Frontrunners branded stores, New Balance Victoria and a new one, Nomad I think is the name. There is a also a Frontrunners in Nanaimo owned by a couple of other guys – all good community oriented people.
Running Room is owned primarily by one guy from Edmonton, who had grown to 117 stores across Canada and into the states.
There are three Running Rooms in Victoria.
That’s it for running stores. One of the Frontrunners used to be a Peninsula Runners store – a Greater Vancouver brand. Well at one time Frontrunners’ flagship store downtown used to be a Forerunners – another Vancouver brand – both still in operation.
Forerunners was started by Peter Butler, formerly one of Canada’s best marathon runners, while Peninsula Runners is owned by Paul Williams, who at one time had three Canadian middle-distance records.
Frontrunners was started by Rob Reid and Butler – Reid was a 2:22 marathoner back in the day.
So there is a bit of a community ownership thing to these brands and when Running Room tries to take market share, it ruffles feathers.
Although ironically, Running Room was once a sponsor of the TC10K.