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Fleet Feet opens Clay store

— When you’re named the top running store in America, it would seem there’s nowhere to go but up.

That’s exactly where Fleet Feet Sports went — well, north, anyway.

Fleet Feet, a locally owned and operated store “dedicated to creating an inclusive environment in which all types of people receive outstanding service in the fitting of running, walking and cross training shoes as well as accessories and apparel for the active lifestyle” (according to its website) opened a second location in Market Fair North Plaza at 4136 Route 31, Clay, across from Great Northern Mall Friday, Nov. 1. The expansion was a result of expanding business in the original location in DeWitt, as well as a growing customer base in the north suburbs.

“We want to make sure we’re in our current runners’ backyards,” said Fleet Feet’s Liz Knickerbocker. “I know with me, when I need new running shoes, I need them two weeks ago. I don’t want to take out time to get them that I could be spending going for a run.”

The franchise, co-owned by husband-and-wife team Ed and Ellen Griffin, first opened in 2000 on Erie Boulevard. In 2010, having outgrown that location, Fleet Feet moved to its current store, which was about three times the size, on Bridge Street in East Syracuse.

Still, the business grew.

“In 13 years, we’ve had incredible growth,” Knickerbocker said. “The store is a good size. We’ve been getting a lot of business and Liverpool, Clay and Baldwinsville are developing areas. More and more people from those areas are coming into our store. We looked at our demographics and realized that was an area we could be better serving. So many runners live over there and come to our training programs. We’re asking them to come to us when we should be coming to them.”

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