Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 18, 2012

Greater Boston Running Co. looks to open soon

By Jonathan Phelps Staff Writer
The Andover Townsman

---- — Shoe customers can continue to beat a path to 45 Main St. The Greater Boston Running Company is moving in, following in the footsteps of two other shoe companies.

The sports footwear and apparel store is expected to open around Thanksgiving in the former J.L. Coombs storefront in November, according to Steve Meinelt, store development manager. The site previously had been Daher’s Shoe Store before J.L. Coombs, a Maine-based company, bought it.

The new shop is a part of a larger company that owns 25 stores, Meinelt said. There are three locations in the greater Boston area — Lexington, Newburyport and Hingham.

“We have been looking at Andover for a while and the right space became available at the right time,” said Meinelt, who expected construction to start as soon as this week. Meinelt said his company was looking for a vibrant downtown area with an active community. It also took into consideration local high school athletic programs in moving to town.

A grand opening will start Nov. 28 and last until Dec. 2, and will include activities, promotions and sales.

The store will include footwear, apparel and other running accessories. Employees will be able to offer customers a gait analysis, which helps pinpoint which running shoes would be best for them, Meinelt said.

“We are looking forward to serving the Andover running community and helping to fulfill their fitness goals and needs,” Meinelt said.

J.L. Coombs, a footwear store, closed in January after being in town since 2007. The lease at the store was up and the company decided not to renew it because of a decrease in customers and sales.

Andover also lost Stride Rite, a children’s shoe store, a few storefronts away from J.L. Coombs, in January. That storefront is now occupied by Sense of Wonder, a gift shop that sells jewelry, artwork, furnishings, and accessories.