Fleet Feet unveils inventory-less store concept

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Fleet Feet interior

Specialty running chain Fleet Feet has debuted a new retail format that combines personalized in-store fitting with rapid home delivery.

Located in Portland, Ore., the new Fleet Feet Drop Shop concept offers the brand's 3D foot scanning technology and personalized outfitting experience with free, two-day home delivery. At about 1,300 square feet, the store has a smaller footprint than a traditional Fleet Feet location. 

The store carries try-on samples of the top 35 men's and women's shoe models in every size they come in. Once the customer, with the help of store associates, decides on the desired shoe, size and color, the employee places the order, which the customer will receive via home delivery in two days. There is no charge for the shipping.

“There's nothing more frustrating for the customer than not having the shoe size and color they want in stock," said Wade Pannell, owner of 10 Fleet Feet locations, including the new concept. "At about 1,300 sq. ft., Fleet Feet Drop Shop has a smaller footprint than a traditional Fleet Feet location, but we've removed the constraints of physical inventory in order to maximize every square foot of the customer experience. We saw an opportunity to develop a concept shop sized for the urban retail environment that doubled down on convenience and selection for the customer.”

In addition to utilizing 3D foot scanning, Fleet Feet Drop Shop features the company’s “fit engine,” an algorithm that assists store associates in shoe selection through purchase insights from the over 2 million scans captured at Fleet Feet stores nationwide since 2017.  

Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 182 locations in 37 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, N.C.