Goodmiles Makes it Special

Goodmiles Running Company is part of the Stan’s Fit For Your Feet collection of stores.

Stan’s Fit For Your Feet, a Milwaukee independent footwear retail institution for more than 70 years, has always proven nimble on its feet and ready to pivot based on the needs and desires of footwear consumers in Southeastern Wisconsin. 

After years of adjusting merchandise, brand and price-point assortments to stay in step, the fourth-generation business of the Sajdak Family has leaned into some bold business moves over the last 10 months. First, in June 2022, with effects from a two-year pandemic finally waning, the business decided to expand beyond Wisconsin with its acquisition of Waxberg’s Walk Shoppe, another family-owned and operated business, in nearby Niles, IL. 

Six months later in January 2022, Stan’s took another step forward, rebranding the two New Balance Milwaukee stores they own with the new name Goodmiles Running Company and establishing a new foothold in the retail run specialty segment. This involved gutting and renovating the 2,500-sq.-ft. stores in Greenfield and Brookfield, WI, two Milwaukee bedroom communities; rebranding the doors as “Goodmiles Running Company;” and broadening SKU and brand assortments. Existing store staff has been expanded with the addition of several run experts.

“It was a great run with New Balance,” commented David Sajdak, director of merchandising for Goodmiles. “We still have a wonderful relationship with New Balance. But with this growth in the run category, we had the opportunity to expand our assortment.”

Megan Sajdak Holtan, director of marketing and a certified pedorthist like her brother David, said the opening of Goodmiles has “brought renewed energy” to both its staff and customer base.

“Customers walk in the store and it’s like, ‘Wow!’ …and we’re seeing new individuals walk in our Goodmiles doors, more run specialty individuals, going, ‘Hey, I heard you have Hoka, or I heard you carry Topo’ and really coming out for those brands. It’s been exciting to speak to a little bit different customer while also staying true to our existing customers. Just having this freshness has been exciting for everyone.”

The retailer reports that it has not faced much price resistance with its run specialty offerings.

Besides maintaining a robust selection of New Balance styles, including always in demand 847s and 928s for the hardcore walking set, Goodmiles has increased its SKU base by another 100 to 125 from other vendors with Hoka being a dominant part of the expanded footwear assortment. Other footwear brands in the mix included Altra, Brooks, On, Oofos, Saucony, Birkenstock and Topo. On the apparel side besides its own namesake label and New Balance, the stores carry pieces from Brooks and Rabbit. There is also an insole range that includes Currex and Aetrex. The store also carries bags and hats. 

Beyond its expanded product assortment, Goodmiles is working to connect strongly with the local running community through its in-store services, such as the Volumental digital foot scanner to help measure customers’ feet and analyze their gait, and ties to local events that include partnering with the city’s annual Lakeshore Marathon, hosting customer fun runs, and organizing walking and running groups.

The Sajdak Family is no stranger to top-notch retail service. The National Shoe Retailers Association named Stan’s Fit For Your Feet and New Balance Milwaukee the National Footwear Retailer of the Year in 2013. And the operations have been recognized by Shepherd Express, a weekly alternative newspaper, for four years; by local consumers in an annual business poll; and by the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce. Plus, the retailer has been honored with Footwear Insight’s Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Customer Service multiple times. 

After a typically long Wisconsin winter, which included a snowfall in late March, the weather has turned up along with the seasonal prospects for Goodmiles Running Co. Local high school cross-country athletes, an older walking crowd and younger female suburbanites are all among the banner’s regular customers on any given day. 

While Milwaukee area shoppers are always looking for a deal, to date Goodmiles has not faced much, if any, price resistance from its customers as it always promotes a value message. When Hoka discontinued the Clifton 8, for example, the store’s remaining inventory of the style sold through swiftly. But the Clifton 9 also had a strong sellthrough rate when it became available. 

The Sajdaks concur that family’s shoe operations have faced a sort of “inventory whiplash” over the last year or so. In addition to the two Goodmiles stores, the Stan’s Fit For Your Feet collection of stores includes three Stan’s locations, the Vionic Store Milwaukee, and Waxberg’s Walk Shoppe.

“I mean, it went from famine to you can get almost anything you want now,” opines David Sajdak. “We are stocked and ready to go, but obviously we have more inventory on our walls compared to a year ago.”

Goodmiles carries a broad range of running footwear brands.