Mahwah residents Joe and Jill Glotzbier say they were looking for a professional change when they decided to open a new franchise in the township – Fleet Feet, a running store they officially opened in November of 2002.
“I was coming from 28 years of corporate life,” Joe told Patch this week. “I had always wanted to own my own business, and this seemed like the right change.”
Glotzbier, who played hockey in college, said he had always been a running enthusiast.
“I always thought there was a void here, a need for a real running specialty store,” Glotzbier, who moved to Mahwah with his wife and young daughter in 1992, said. Especially, he said, since the natural surroundings of “Bergen County’s Parkland” fosters a perfect environment for runners.
Ten years later, Glotzbier says the store, located in the A&P Shopping complex, attracts customers not only from Mahwah and surrounding towns, but from places as far away as Albany N.Y.
“Our big claim to fame is how we fit [running] shoes,” he explained. Fleet Feet customers undergo Video Gait Analysis, in which they are recorded walking and running on a treadmill in shoes they are trying on. “We see how the foot behaves through the whole gait process,” Glotzbier said. “We make sure they have the right size, measurement and fit. We take a lot of time and effort with our fittings, and that’s really what we’ve become known for.”
Mahwah’s Fleet Feet is one of over 90 franchise locations across the country, but only one of four Fleet Feets in New Jersey. All focus on the “ Fitlosophy” Glotzbier described.
Over the past decade, Glotzbier said his store has gotten the opportunity to connect with the community, through charity drives, and two training programs a year for runners. The most popular, “No Boundaries,” is offered every spring, is for beginners, and “basically takes you from couch to 5K,” Glotzbier said.
The second, offered every fall, is for more experienced runners training for a 10K.
After 10 years in the township, Glotzbier says the running store has proved to be the exact change he was looking for.
"The way I see it, there are four ingredients to succuess," he said. "Making money, existing in the corporate environment, liking your job and having fun. This is really the only place where all four work for me."
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, the Glotzbiers are thanking their customers with special sales throughout the store running from November through the holiday shopping season. Fleet Feet is offering a 20 percent discount on all winter apparel items, and other sales in the store, to celebrate and thank customers.