Fleet Feet Sports, which specializes in building and support of thriving local running communities, opened Thursday at 709 S.E. Greenville Blvd, Suite 104, in the Greenville Square Shopping Center near Publix.
Chris Loignon, a five-year manager at the Fleet Feet Sports Winston-Salem location and a graduate of East Carolina University, will own the store with his wife, Kendra.
“This is one of those dream scenarios where you have a long-time store employee who is able to reach his goal and become a franchise owner of his own store,” Robyn Goby, vice president of development for Fleet Feet Sports, said. “We saw Chris’ drive, determination and passion for helping others in Winston-Salem, and we’re excited to see him bring that same type of energy to the Greenville running community.”
At the Winston-Salem location, Loignon managed a variety of store functions, including footwear buying, inventory management and new employee training. Prior to that, he worked in minor league baseball, serving as the box office manager of the Winston-Salem Dash. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in exercise sports science. He and his wife have two children, Cohen and Knox.
“I am thankful for those five years in Winston-Salem learning from two of the best owners in Emily and Keith Davis, and seeing what they’ve been able to build and foster in terms of a running community there,” Loignon said. “For this next chapter, I’m excited to be with my family back in a town I love, doing what I love, and I am really looking forward to what we will create here for the Greenville community.”
Ahead of the store’s opening, Loignon and his staff have began holding social runs for the community, as well as a beginner-training program in preparation for the Reindeer Dash for Cash 10 miler and 5K. Half-marathon and marathon-training programs will kick off in January.
With the opening of the Greenville location, there are now 14 locations in North Carolina: three in Raleigh and one each in Asheville, Carrboro, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Hickory, High Point, Huntersville, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet Sports is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 173 locations in 38 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro.