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Fleet Feet expands store footprint via acquisition

Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 190 locations.

Fleet Feet is growing its presence in the Sunshine States.

The athletic footwear company has acquired specialty running retailer FITniche and its three locations in the Tampa, Fla., area. The acquisition will expand Fleet Feet’s portfolio in Florida to ten locations.

The stores will rebrand to Fleet Feet on a rolling basis throughout the next few months. They will feature Fleet Feet’s exclusive outfitting experience fit id, which combines outfitter expertise with insights from 3D foot scanning and dynamic pressure mapping technologies.

[Read More: Fleet Feet unveils inventory-less store concept]

“We are extremely grateful to Rich and the entire FITniche team for the strong foundation they’ve established over the past 16 years and the trust they have in Fleet Feet to build upon that,” said John Moloznik, director of business development at Fleet Feet. “This is a milestone acquisition that propels Fleet Feet’s growth and brings our national resources and infrastructure to the Tampa and Lakeland communities.” 

Rich Wills, who founded FITniche in 2005, will exit the business as he moves on to his next career venture.  An entrepreneur, and former senior project manager at Publix Super Markets corporate headquarters, Wills opened the first FITniche in 2005 in Lakeland, Fla., eventually adding locations in Brandon and Flatwoods.

“Through FITniche, I’ve had the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with employees, customers, community members and partners, and reps, so many of whom have become my friends and family,” said Willis. “I’m so proud of what we all accomplished together, and I look forward to witnessing their continued success with Fleet Feet.”

“Rich’s passion, commitment and hard work have helped foster a vibrant and positive running community here in Tampa,” said Adams. “I’m honored for the privilege of working with this talented staff and can’t wait to connect with the customers and community on what’s coming from Fleet Feet.”

Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 190 locations in 37 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, N.C.

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