As Connecticut runners flooded Chapel Street for the 37th annual New Haven Road Race this Monday, they passed by Connecticut Running Company, a newly installed running specialty store.
The store, which will hold a series of grand openings this weekend, officially opened last spring selling athletic apparel, footwear and running accessories.
Though the store serves Yale students, faculty and the New Haven community, Christopher Bernhardt, the store manager, said that it has been frequented by more faculty members so far.
The store offers many specialized tests and evaluations for runners, including a treadmill in the middle of the store that helps runners analyze their gait and shoe fittings. Due to the specific group of people the store caters to, Bernhardt said that the business primarily relies on word-of-mouth advertising.
While the Connecticut Running Co. specializes in running gear, Bernhardt said that the store also provides general athletic clothing.
“It’s for anyone who is active — whether they run, walk or hike,” Berhardt said.
Students interviewed about the new business raised concerns about the price of merchandise in the store, as well as the location. The store is located at 976 Chapel St., neighboring student favorite burger joint Shake Shack.
Students don’t go to Chapel Street to shop, they go for the restaurants, said Alicia Borja Alavarez ’17.
Rebecca Modiano ’16 said that she has walked by the store, but has never shopped there.
“It’s a little out of my price range, but it seems like they have cool stuff,” she said.
Other students said they already buy their running clothes elsewhere. Alex Herkert ’17 said that he buys his athletic clothes at other stores that are more reasonably priced.
The Connecticut Running Co. provides a 10 percent student discount, but Bernhardt said the student discount has not been a focus of advertising.
Bernhardt said the store saw increased business with the influx of freshman during move-in week, and that people training for races like the NYC Marathon in early November frequent the store.
The Connecticut Running Company is part of The Boulder Running Company chain, founded in Boulder, CO.