Business Advice From John Stanton Sr. of the Running Room (ABFI’s 2011 Signature Family)

John Stanton Jr., John Stanton Sr., Jason Stanton

As many of you know, our 2011 Signature Family is the Stanton family of the Running Room. In July of 2010 John Stanton Sr. (the founder of the Running Room) was interviewed by the Globe and Mail. During this interview John provided the following advice on building a national business one community at a time. One of the reasons we are so proud to celebrate the Stanton family’s success is because of their incredible commitment to their community and their deep connections with their customers.

John Stanton’s three-step approach to building a national business:
(See original Globe and Mail story here)

  1. Earn customer loyalty and respect
  2. Become a part of customers’ lives
  3. Support the community

1. Earn customer loyalty, and respect. Running Room becomes part of people’s everyday lives by helping them achieve their fitness goals, from setting them up with the optimal gear selection to advising them on technique. We hold weekly training clinics, led by committed and motivated local store staff. The decision to start a running or walking regime often marks a new chapter in people’s lives. Ensuring they succeed has driven our 30 years of steady growth.

2. Become a part of customers’ lives. Our 100-plus Running Room locations act as community centres. Every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning we organize free group runs and walks where like-minded people come together to exercise and socialize. The end result is both physical and mental fitness. In several cases we’ve even brought future husbands and wives together.

3. Support the community. We sponsor 600-plus running and walking events a year. Yes, this raises the profile of the Running Room but it also generates millions of dollars for worthy causes. Our staff and volunteers champion these grassroots events. I take part in many of them and I see first-hand the strong connection people feel toward Running Room and our staff. If you sincerely put the best interests of communities first, everyone wins.

2011 Signature Event honouring the Stanton Family of the Running Room
October 3, 2011 – Calgary   
October 25, 2011 – Edmonton    

For more information go to or email

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