Owners Nick and Tracy Pigg opened Run 816 a little over three years ago in their hometown of Kansas City, MO. They recognized the need for a run specialty shop to cater to runners who were already there. Both left their corporate jobs in 2015 and set out to create a sense of community at Run 816. Now, they have grown to have a staff of 10 employees and attract nearly 100 runners for Sunday group runs. Since day one, they have focused on having one outstanding store.
While both excel in different parts of the business, Nick and Tracy, along with their staff, strive to make everyone feel welcome. Tracy handles the behind the scenes planning such as marketing and events while Nick runs day-to-day operations. Their three dogs, who work with them every day, have also become staff members that customers have grown to adore.
“To us, being small business owners is everything,” Tracy said. “It allows us to contribute to our community in a unique and fun way, while doing something every day that we are passionate about. We work really hard and put in a lot of hours- but we have fun!
“Nick is AMAZING with our customers”, she added. “He is so passionate about helping people and is so knowledgeable. Watching him help someone go through the fitting process and finding the right shoe is really incredible. Neither one of us can imagine doing anything else!”
On top of their hard-working staff, Nick and Tracy have also put emphasis on creating a space that feels inviting to their customers. You’ll find complimentary beer and local coffee on tap at the shop, along with comfy couches for lounging. They truly love when people hang out after group runs or events and have a drink and talk running.
“Our goal is for every customer that walks in the door to feel welcome and that they receive exceptional customer service,” Tracy said. “We strive to provide an experience that they enjoy and that they tell their friends about.”
Run816 is proud to be involved in the community. They sponsor over 50 local races each year, including the Kansas City Marathon, which they co-sponsor with Saucony. Two years ago, they created Team Run 816, an all-inclusive team encouraged to run and volunteer at local races. Come to a Sunday morning group run and you will see longtime members of Run 816 encouraging new faces to join.
Despite shifts in retail trends to an increase in online shopping, Run 816 sticks by their philosophy of selling a service, not a product.
“By focusing our attention on the customer experience first, and sales second, we can keep ourselves relevant in a changing environment,” Tracy said. “We provide customers with a thorough custom shoe fitting and product knowledge they just can't get online. We keep our product selection fresh and listen to what our customers want, thus giving them a reason to come back again and again.”