Workforce Development

Long Run: People Practices Power Running Store’s Performance

September 18, 2017  • Mark G. Popovich & Amanda Newman

Download Publication
View this Publication
Download PDF

“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race,” so noted a sign at a recent marathon. The trope of challenging journeys that reshape character is common in sports. It also applies well to Charm City Run, a Baltimore-area running and walking specialty store. The company certainly equips and trains those “starters” and “finishers.” Since launching a single storefront in 2002, the enterprise has evolved to match their changing goals, methods, and scale.

After earlier booms and subsequent slumps, selling running shoes and apparel now is a tough retail market. The cross currents include rapidly shifting customer preferences, high velocity churn in products, and top-flight competitors of both the hard-wall and e-commerce variety.

Charm City Run is doing better, however, than just keeping pace. The firm is accelerating even in this extremely harsh market. They are in growth mode when thousands of retail outlets closed across the country this year alone, and the number of running stores has slumped by three hundred in recent years. As so many drop off pace, or hang on with ever-dwindling hopes, CCR has upped their investment to eight locations, with the latest opening on the Baltimore waterfront in the hotspot Fells Point neighborhood.

Charm City Run is a top performer. And its people make it possible.



Baltimore’s @CharmCityRun is a top performer in the retail market. And its people make it possible.

.@CharmCityRun’s people practices help make them a national champion-caliber retailer. Our new case study:

“We are nothing without our people and the attitude and energy they bring to our stores every day.”

We interview @CharmCityRun’s COO to learn what good people practices look like in the competitive retail market.

“@CharmCityRun’s store is good because the staff is good. And the store and staff are good together.”


Employment and Jobs
The Retail Marathon – People, Practices, Power, Performance
September 18, 2017 • Mark G. Popovich & 1 more


Keep in touch

Good Companies/Good Jobs encourages and equips business leaders to enact strategies that simultaneously produce outstanding outcomes for their businesses and their frontline workers. Good Companies/Good Jobs is an initiative of the Economic Opportunities Program.

Learn how the Economic Opportunities Program is helping low- and moderate-income Americans connect to and thrive in a changing economy. Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on publications, blog posts, and other announcements.

* indicates required

Mailing Lists