07 Nov Fit Right Acquired by Former Fleet Feet Franchise Owners
Fit Right, the Pacific Northwest’s nationally-renowned specialty running and walking store, announces that on Nov. 20 the husband-and-wife team of Alan Rice and Susan Zepernick will take ownership of Fit Right as part of the Fleet Feet Sports system.
Fleet Feet Sports is the industry leader in franchising and developing successful, locally owned-and-operated, community‐oriented specialty stores serving runners, walkers, and fitness enthusiasts. After nine years of ownership, Rice and Zepernick sold their Chico, CA, Fleet Feet Sports franchise to long-time employee Kristina Smith, her husband Paul, and her mother Carol Esparza. The sale allows Rice and Zepernick to realize their dream of living in the Pacific Northwest while supporting a robust community of runners and walkers.
“Passing the reins of Fit Right after 14 years is definitely bittersweet,” Fit Right founder Dave Sobolik said. “Having reached the top of our market, now’s the right time to pursue other interests and take on new challenges. Only because we wholeheartedly believe in the future of Fit Right under Alan and Susan’s leadership, and the high standards of Fleet Feet Sports, are we able to say goodbye.”
“The team at Fit Right has set a tremendous precedent for what it means to be a wholly-engaged and meaningful community resource that delivers on service, relationships, and information,” said Fleet Feet Inc. president and CEO Jeff Phillips. “I’m confident, and quite frankly thrilled, we’re able to continue that in such an active and vibrant region with the leadership of Alan and Susan and our top-notch resources, vendor relationships, and operations support.”
From an array of entities seeking to purchase the business, co-owners Sobolik and Robb Finegan selected Fleet Feet Sports both for its like-minded approach and in the best interest of their employees and community.
Said Finegan, “Alan, Susan, and Fleet Feet Sports have a philosophy similar to Fit Right’s regarding how to take care of customers. Today, there are lots of options out there for running and walking needs, and Alan and Susan have the industry knowledge to ensure Fit Right remains one of the top locally-owned running and walking stores in the country.”
Both retail locations will remain locally owned-and-operated. Rice and Zepernick look forward to working with the community-oriented staff and its tradition of local support, including First Thursday Urban Adventure Runs, training opportunities, and event sponsorships.
“Susan and I are eager to entrench ourselves in such a passionate community and carry on Fit Right’s tradition of supporting local runners and walkers,” said Rice. “We are fervent believers in brick-and-mortar retail and local ownership, and believe that the key to thriving in the new economic world is through amazing service, superior product, and subject knowledge. We will be working hard to create a fun experience for our customers and our team, and are dedicated to keeping Fit Right the premier running and walking store in our communities.”
Fit Right joins seven other Fleet Feet Sports locations—one in Bend, Ore.; five in Washington State, including Seattle, Tacoma, Bonney Lake, Spokane, and Spokane Valley; and one in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho—in providing excellent service and resources for active communities in the Pacific Northwest.