Running with a bigger pack

“We’re happy with what we’ve accomplished, but not satisfied,” says Jon Beck. “We want to continue to make it better and keep giving back to the community.”

The couple developed the business around core ideals to provide superior customer service and promote healthy lifestyles in the Oklahoma City area.

Burke Beck says employee training focuses on greeting customers and providing the same outstanding service for everyone who comes into the store.

“By developing a relationship, we get customers who ask not just about a particular shoe, but also about services and programs the store is involved in,” she says.

Prominently situated within their store is the hallmark of Red Coyote, their video gait-analysis system that records at 180-200 frames per second. By recording 15 seconds of a customer running, a trained employee can find a portion of that recorded time, slow it down and show how the feet impact the ground and how much the arch collapses. The employee then can suggest changes to help the customer run injury-free or match shoe options to how the person runs.

“We strive to make them feel comfortable when they’re in the store, and confident when they leave that they made the right purchase,” says Burke Beck.

Business indicators suggest they are on the right track with 55% to 60% growth the first two years, and a slightly more moderate percentage increase last year. Also, Competitor magazine and Running Insight identified Red Coyote twice as one of the 50 best running stores of 1,800 in the U.S.

Pack size is further defined Thursday evenings, when runners meet at the store for Pack Pint socials. The Becks began the organized events to give runners a place to meet and get to know each other.

“We run a 5K in a way people can go however far they want; the
social run is open to all abilities,” says Jon Beck. “A year ago, 30
people showed up each week. This year, that number spiked to about 125
runners.”

Red Coyote
now is located at 5800 N. Classen Blvd. in Classen Curve. They moved in
February to the larger facility that is more than twice the size of
their first store.

“We
now have more room to serve customers on busy weekends and put on
community events,” says Burke Beck. “It also allows us to carry a bigger
inventory of shoes, making it easier for our customers to walk out with
the shoes they want instead of having to special order them due to a
smaller inventory.”

The
new space features large windows and a modern, sleek look that Jon Beck
says fits what they saw their business model to be. Expecting the
swanky shopping center would equate to higher-end stores, he says
customers often are shocked to see reasonable prices.

“Our
vendors are great at keeping prices the same across all channels:
specialty, big-box and online. They see how we build our running
community, so they want to take care of us as we help introduce new
runners to their brands,” says Burke Beck.

Through
community involvement, the Becks help improve Oklahoma City and promote
their business. They are present at the Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society’s Run Lucky 5K race March 11, and at the Oklahoma City Memorial
Marathon April 28.

“We’re happy with our decision to open in Oklahoma City, and appreciate the support of our customers,” says Burke Beck.

by James Brabanec

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