Hoboken “David vs. Goliath”

Fleet Feet tells “David vs. Goliath” story in Hoboken, NJ

As we told you earlier – the “NJ Running Company” has set up shop on Washington Street in Hoboken. And we advised not to be confused by the “local” naming of the store, as it was a façade for the fact it was a multi-million dollar national corporation.

That said, we encouraged residents to see the value of and support local shops like Fleet Feet up the road instead.

They too, have a story to tell about their 10 years in Hoboken. Read on and enjoy!

David vs Goliath Hoboken Fleet Feet NJ Running Company

Why Where You Shop Matters: A David Vs Goliath Story

By Fleet Feet Hoboken

Fleet Feet Hoboken would like to thank you for an amazing past 10 years! To all of our wonderful loyal customers: THANK YOU! We certainly would not be here without you! It is an honor and a privilege to serve you and we are truly grateful that you appreciate us and what we do every day.

At this time, we are facing a serious challenge to our next 10 years, in the form of a behemoth national competitor (with much international money in its coffers as well) that would like to have you believe that they are a small locally owned and operated store like we are, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’ll get to Goliath in a minute, but first here is the story of David. Of a small locally owned and operated store that was built on blood, sweat and tears (literally not an exaggeration-please let us share before and after photos and stories of how we did the build-out ourselves).

Of a store that does the right thing by you and by our town, day in and day out, in every sense of the word. As Chuck Klosterman once wisely wrote, “It doesn’t matter what you can do if you don’t know why you’re doing it.” Our people-first approach is to constantly strive for holistic improvement, because we are here together trying to better each other, and we all want to fully enjoy the quirky intricacies that make Hoboken the unique community that it is.

Local does really matter

A store comprised of the friendliest, most knowledgeable and dynamic staff that you may ever be fortunate enough to encounter. We have college students who are earning their way through Stevens Institute with winning attitudes and humbly brilliant minds. Come in and ask them about the robot they just built, the incredible chemistry experiment they just successfully completed, or their enlightened vision for the future. You will quickly find glimmering examples of why America will continue to be the best and brightest country in the world. Our accomplished and selfless educators radiate their passion for running and fitness with you on their nights and weekends. Ask them about their recent experiences completing the NYC Marathon, and they’ll enthusiastically turn the attention to you while giving you advice and encouragement to complete your own one day if you wish. And of course our ownership; simply put they would literally give you the shirts off their backs, and provide the rock solid foundation for everything that is right with locally owned and operated small businesses.

Team Fleet Feet Hoboken is here for you 65-70 hours per week, late nights and all weekend, giving you only the very best in service, product knowledge, and kindness. Our pride and joy comes in the form of your happiness and fulfillment. We have heart and soul that is off the charts, and truly by any measure, we are the real article (if that jogs a memory-no pun intended-yes you are correct-Planes Trains and Automobiles!)

Before “social media!”

Remember 2003? Seems like a long time ago doesn’t it? When we opened, Facebook (where you will find daily inspiration at Fleet Feet Hoboken by the way) didn’t exist yet! That was when we began helping you, our fellow Hobokenites, achieve your running, walking and fitness goals. It was also when we started contributing to numerous local charities, schools, organizations, and events. Likely many of you reading this right now represent organizations that have sought our assistance over the years, which we have gladly provided. We have hosted and/or contributed to more pre-race packet pickups, races and functions than we can count. Why? We practice what we preach, and well, we believe firmly in the following statistic: For every $100 spent at a locally owned business (David), $73 stays right here in Hoboken. For every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business (Goliath), only $43 stays in Hoboken.

Who cares right? Well, 80% of the jobs in America are supplied by small locally owned and operated businesses, of which Hoboken has a beautiful and diverse mix (it would be unfair to identify only a few here when there are so many great ones-and they can absolutely all stand proudly and speak for themselves, but we would encourage you to look for Small Business Saturday logos, posters and mats this weekend, and you will be treated to an excellent shopping experience no doubt). You won’t find a Small Business Saturday mat outside Goliath’s lair, no in fact, Goliath is much closer to owning American Express than to being eligible for participation in one of their small business days. Buying local keeps locals employed, and the dollars we spend locally recirculate 7 times. The more times those dollars recirculate, believe it or not Hoboken then benefits through a greater budget for crucial infrastructure including parks, clean neighborhoods, and utilities. After last year, you certainly know how vital those resources all are. Those circulating dollars allow us to provide you with an outstanding and all-around Grade A experience facilitated by our wonderful staff. Every item you purchase from us, even a Power Gel for a buck or so, truly matters!

Goliath only pretends to be local

As for Goliath, Goliath operates under the guise of being a small local business, but how many small local businesses do you know of that can plunk down $30,000 per month in rent, and have for months on end, without selling a single shoe lace? Maybe in Narnia, but most likely even The Witch would turn Ice Queen at such a thought. Yes that’s right folks-there is absolutely nothing local about The New Jersey Running Company. You see, they are actually part of the mall based chain called The Finish Line. Their limitless resources have even allowed them the grandiosity to purchase the domain name run.com. Have to reread all that to make sure you weren’t hallucinating? We did as well, and felt it derelict not to cast light on the discovery. Goliath doesn’t make that obvious though, as Goliath prefers cloak and dagger practices to transparency.

Goliath doesn’t care about Hoboken, not one iota, and anyone with any business acumen will tell you that they certainly didn’t do their homework in choosing this location. They simply rampage into town, ransack the priciest real estate, even out-huffing and puffing another titan in Lululemon this time. When Lululemon throws in the proverbial bidding war towel, any business sense whatsoever says run away faster than Jack Bauer could cross Los Angeles. Then they slap some sort of mediocre and deceitful attempt at a relevant name on the building front, and start throwing around their monopoly money, hoping that you won’t be any the wiser.

Ownership far absent

There is no ownership on site at their empire now, nor will there ever be. Workers are transplanted in from afar, and Goliath laughs maniacally over them like a Legion of Doom storyboard. The people there, nice though they may be, won’t benefit nor suffer if they sell a single item or a thousand items. They get palates of shipments in from warehouses thousands of miles away, never having to view even a single product lines nor make cognitive decisions of any consequence. And why should they? After all, Goliath controls this leviathan from his Gulfstream.

Think there is any chance they will recycle their cardboard and reuse it for shipping, buy economy garbage bags that require getting your hands dirty, or go with the generic brand accordion binders to save money? Think they will care if you’re having an issue with your New Balance sneakers, need a special order shipped in an expedited manner because you are going out of town for a holiday weekend, or are having signal issues with your Garmin watch? If we told you wolverines make good house pets would you believe us? Goliath issues blank checks with copious space for a googol zeroes to be scrawled in indelible ink. They know no more of inventory costs than they do of our town because, say it with us, they don’t care nor do they have to! They are simply part of a gargantuan machine named Goliath, who hoped that you would never discover what you now know.

Statistically speaking, 93% of our customers reside here in Hoboken. 99.99% of Manhattanites aren’t crossing the river to visit us (their loss obviously but reality nonetheless), so based on geography, as well as the parking dilemma which as you know is also not visitor friendly, you are our customer base. More importantly you are our neighbors, our running partners, and our friends. Without you, we would not exist. Without you, we would not be able to provide exhilarating experiences and activities such as vendor nights, fun runs, The Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities, The No Boundaries 5K Training Program, Good Form Running and so much more. We want to continue to provide you with those types of top-notch events, and because we know that there will be much misinformation and obstruction provided by the Goliath Machine in the coming months, we need you to stand with us now more than ever. They already decided to barge their way into a mile square town that also already had Foot Locker, Stan’s, and the all-might Internet, in addition of course to places to shop in the city on lunch hour. Aristotle doth protest and would certainly request the ostrakon! Please continue to share our vision and remember how important each and every one of you is to us!

It would be fun to hear a rebuttal from Goliath, but while the rest of us are working this weekend, you won’t find Goliath within 5,000 miles of Hoboken. No, it is mighty difficult to reach Goliath when Goliath is skiing in the Alps and counting his millions in a country we probably couldn’t even correctly pronounce. In our view, skiing Whistler or anywhere else right here in the USA is mighty fine, and the previous passage is just more reason why Goliath doesn’t need your patronage in relining his already platinum lined pockets. Some of those millions have come from Goliath’s previous conquests into other unsuspecting communities at David’s expense; please don’t let Hoboken become another unfortunate statistic, rather let’s keep the local momentum going forward together.

Shop truly local in Hoboken on Black Friday!

So on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and beyond, you have a choice Hoboken. If you like who David is and stands for, pass this on to a friend. As any true small locally owned and operated store will tell you, word of mouth is our best form of advertising. If you haven’t visited us yet, please stop on by, and we’ll welcome you with open arms! Give us a chance, and see all that positive talk around town in action. Stop in on your run and enjoy some water or use our restroom if you need to. Come join us for one of our Wednesday night fun runs. Come out and run with The HoHas or Elysianettes on one of their many runs from our store. Think of us when you think of fitness. Let David continue to serve you while letting Goliath enjoy the sound of crickets, as he pulls the wool over folks’ eyes elsewhere, but not in our town. Together let’s make the next 10 years even better than the last 10!

Happy Holidays and all our Best Wishes!

All Your Friends at Fleet Feet Hoboken
(The ONLY Locally Owned and Operated Running Store in Hoboken)

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7 Comments on "Hoboken “David vs. Goliath”"

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover

Buyer beware! I too would think it was a state outfit be the name.

I will never forget when I was left stranded with no cash by Bank of America because this company that called itself “of America” did not have banking access in fifty states – or even the 48 contiguous states.

Traveler
Member
Traveler

I was really surprised by this article and it did the opposite of what the author was trying to do to me. I am a supporter of Fleet Feet and when I saw that a new running store was coming into town I immediately thought of them and hoped it wouldn’t affect their sales. However, after reading their response to a competitor coming to town I have more distaste for Fleet Feet than I would have had before. For a store that prides itself on being supportive of the community and being nice this was pretty hate filled. No one likes competition but having a monopoly on the market for 10 years was a pretty good run (no pun intended). You don’t see the other boutiques in town writing negative comments about their competitors before they even open. On top of that – I was surprised to see them calling out the NJ Running Company for being a franchise when they’re as well. A bit of the pot calling the kettle black here. It’s a bit disheartening to have read this – maybe I will go check out the NJ Running Company after all.

Billy Madison
Member
Billy Madison
Traveler – we are all entitled to our own opinions but I think you missed the point of what the author was trying to say (in my opinion at least). I don’t think Fleet Feet was complaining about a competitor coming to town (correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Foot Locker already a neighbor on Washington Street?) but rather pointing out the fact that in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, etc. The New Jersey Running Company is not, in fact, a small business. Each Fleet Feet location is individually owned and pays a franchise fee on their gross profit in exchange for use of the Company name, guidance, etc. Finish Line is not – the profits/losses of each storefront roll up to the overall Company’s bottom line. If Fleet Feet has a bad year it goes out of business, the same is not true for The New Jersey Running Company. The point that I got out of the article is that the two businesses are entirely different and the author was merely making that distinction. That said, I can see your point about boutiques in town not writing articles but at least when Anthropologie came to Hoboken it just called itself Anthropologie. [quote comment=”222075″]I was really surprised by this article and it did the opposite of what the author was trying to do to me. I am a supporter of Fleet Feet and when I saw that a new running store was coming into town I immediately thought… Read more »
Traveler
Member
Traveler
If the article was meant to support Small Business Saturday and convince buyers to shop local then they could have highlighted the many local and amazing stores in Hoboken and perhaps even mentioned NJ Running Company not as a locally owned business but not solely focused on talking about them. Maybe it’s just me – but it just seemed a little dirty and unexpected from a store like Fleet Feet. I actually read the rebuttal from NJ Running Company after I commented blog.run.com/new-jersey-running-com...oboken/welcome-to-the-neighborhood/ and found what they had to say to be interesting about how they were a NJ chain but were recently bought out – and surprisingly, it didn’t read like it was written on a ski hill in the alps. It’s good to know all the facts and not just one side. BTW – good point on the Foot Locker I actually didn’t think of them when I wrote my comment, however, I guess I omitted them as that I don’t see them as having the same target market as Fleet Feet but still yes, a competitor. Anyway, regardless of all of this I hope the article’s message to shop local didn’t get mixed up in the static of the negative and satirical comments. [quote comment=”222079″]Traveler – we are all entitled to our own opinions but I think you missed the point of what the author was trying to say (in my opinion at least). I don’t think Fleet Feet was complaining about a competitor coming to town… Read more »
Billy Madison
Member
Billy Madison
Traveler, did you even read this article? I tend to dislike commenting on websites like this because I do feel that people are entitled to their opinions but your opinions are misguided enough to keep me interested. To your point about the author not mentioning the other local businesses in town I would disagree based on reading the following in the article: “Well, 80% of the jobs in America are supplied by small locally owned and operated businesses, of which Hoboken has a beautiful and diverse mix (it would be unfair to identify only a few here when there are so many great ones-and they can absolutely all stand proudly and speak for themselves, but we would encourage you to look for Small Business Saturday logos, posters and mats this weekend, and you will be treated to an excellent shopping experience no doubt).”. I can agree that the article was intended to be a comparison between Fleet Feet and The New Jersey Running Company but mostly to clarify that Fleet Feet is local, while the other is not. The article was definitely long and intended to be dramatic at times but at the end of the day I think it was supposed to highlight the benefits of shopping local and to ensure that shoppers are not fooled by the potential misrepresentation that The New Jersey Running Company is a local business, as its name implies. To your point about how “It’s good to know all the facts and not just… Read more »
Billy Madison
Member
Billy Madison

Funny enough that I saw this today after commenting on here last night –

Mom-And-Pop Retailers Welcome Customers On Small Business Saturday

newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/30/mom...on-small-business-saturday/%5Bquote comment=”222079″]Traveler – we are all entitled to our own opinions but I think you missed the point of what the author was trying to say (in my opinion at least). I don’t think Fleet Feet was complaining about a competitor coming to town (correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Foot Locker already a neighbor on Washington Street?) but rather pointing out the fact that in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, etc. The New Jersey Running Company is not, in fact, a small business. Each Fleet Feet location is individually owned and pays a franchise fee on their gross profit in exchange for use of the Company name, guidance, etc. Finish Line is not – the profits/losses of each storefront roll up to the overall Company’s bottom line. If Fleet Feet has a bad year it goes out of business, the same is not true for The New Jersey Running Company. The point that I got out of the article is that the two businesses are entirely different and the author was merely making that distinction. That said, I can see your point about boutiques in town not writing articles but at least when Anthropologie came to Hoboken it just called itself Anthropologie.[/quote]

Gloria
Member
Gloria

I know Fleet may not be the cheapest, but the value of service we’ve received above and beyond the sale has been well worth the extra expense.These guys are extremely helpful, sincere and dedicated to help their customers. Priceless in my opinion.

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