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What's Next for RunTex? Retail May Become Less of a Priority

RunTex is losing its prime store location on Riverside Drive and South First Street. The Austin-American Statesman reports the company is being evicted because they didn’t pay the $20,000/month rent. But there’s also the fact that the location is reportedly set to become a mixed-use development.

As far as criticism of his business decisions go, RunTex owner Paul Carrozza told KUT News he’s learned a “valuable lesson and an expensive lesson around expansion and what it takes to go from one store to five stores.”

Looking forward, Carrozza says RunTex will continue its commitment to fitness and creating a healthier Austin. He says that may mean that retail sales become less of a priority.

“If we don’t sell shoes at the moment, we’re still going to get people moving and point them in the right direction on shoes,” Carrozza said.

Carrozza acknowledges that there’s lots of fitness retail competition in Austin.

“Austin’s got a great market now full of great stores that also focus on getting people in the right shoes," Carrozza said. “So, what I want to make sure we do, is to lead the way in creating a climate of making sure that there’s nobody left behind in finding a healthy lifestyle… and that’s really been our mission and that’s what we want to do now.”

And while the company is losing its prominent location near Auditorium Shores, he says RunTex will maintain a presence on the Hike and Bike Trail.

“We expect to continue to serve the trail with ice water in hot months,” Carrozza said. “We want to continue to do what we do. We also have to work through our current business concerns – and we’re committed to that as well. But we love this community and love what we do and I’m going to continue with it 100 percent.”

The switch in focus may mean the RunTex Foundation takes the lead over RunTex retail. The foundation is a separate entity. One of its most well-known endeavors was bringing back the Trail of Lights.

“That’s something we want to continue to support,” Carrozza said. “And we want to do it with the community because it’s really the community’s event. And we want to play the appropriate role in doing that.”

It seems assured that the next years for RunTex will be different from the past 25. But Carrozza says he’s not giving up on it.

“What RunTex will look like in a retail format, I don’t have an answer for yet, but I do know that we’re committed to our community and our brand and what we have been doing which is to help establish and support non-profit endurance events that get people moving and then help coach the people to the events,” Carrozza said.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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