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Denver-based firm laps up BlueMile running chain

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Denver-based Running Specialty Group on Thursday acquired BlueMile, a six-location running specialty store based in Indianapolis.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RSG is a joint venture between Indianapolis-based The Finish Line Inc., a mall-based athletic footwear retailer with 638 stores across the U.S., and Denver-based Gart Capital Partners, a private equity partnership involved in the sporting goods industry.

RSG has been on a growth spurt recently, growing from 19 to 35 stores since October. RSG officials said they plan to expand BlueMile in the Midwest and possibly beyond.

“BlueMile is a perfect fit for RSG because they are the epitome of what we think of as a great running specialty store—a passion for their sport, a top-notch staff, close engagement with their customers and local communities, and the commitment to provide very personalized service—an element lacking in many ‘big box’ stores,” explains Ken Gart, partner of Gart Capital Partners.

BlueMile, which changed its name in 2010 from The Running Co., started as a single Broad Ripple store. The company opened stores in Fishers in 2004, Carmel in 2006, Greenwood in 2007 and Louisville—where it now has two stores—in 2010. Under co-founders Bob Kennedy and Ashley Johnson, both accomplished distance runners, the chain grew to more than 50 employees.

Kennedy sold his stake in the company to Johnson and his wife in September. Ironically, Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he is buying a majority share of Movin Shoes Inc., a chain of three specialty running and walking stores in Southern California.

Ashley Johnson, and his wife, Andrea, will continue to operate BlueMile, with Ashley heading up operations and customer service, and Andrea taking the lead on marketing and communications. The in-store staff will remain unchanged, and additional positions will be added as new stores open, the Johnsons said.

“This is a great opportunity for us to continue to focus on our passion for health and fitness while being part of a larger organization that will let us provide more opportunities for our staff,” said Ashley Johnson.

“BlueMile is exactly the type of specialty retailer we are looking for,” said Glenn Lyon, chairman and CEO of Indianapolis-based The Finish Line. “It’s a collection of well run stores with owners and staff that are passionate about their sport, customer service, and community. It’s exciting to partner with BlueMile since they were founded right here in the ‘backyard’ of Finish Line’s own corporate headquarters.”
 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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