Kalamazoo-based retail sports good store Gazelle Sports will expand with the addition of a storefront in downtown Birmingham in early summer.
“Downtown Birmingham just really fit with our focus on community and active living and really fit the profile of how we’re going to support people staying active and healthy,” says Chris Lampen-Crowell, co-founder of Gazelle Sports. “It’s a very high activity-based community and there’s no one else like us in that downtown market.”
Lampen-Crowell says the 3,000-square-foot store will open in the Woodward Building currently under construction at the corner of South Old Woodward Avenue and Maple Road. Gazelle Sports will offer footwear, apparel, and gear for running, walking, cycling, or for triathlons or yoga. Major product lines available will include Nike, Asics, Saucony, and Adidas. Lampen-Crowell says Gazelle Sports is also bringing to market Lole Activewear, a Canadian women’s apparel brand.
“Our vendors are very encouraged by our expansion (in Birmingham),” he says. “A number of them will be offering special, exclusive product lines that aren’t available everywhere else.”
Gazelle Sports, founded in 1985, has storefronts in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, and Northville. Lampen-Crowell says over the past few years, Gazelle Sports has prepared for an expansion, both in brick and mortar storefront and in its online business.
“As we looked to grow, we looked at metro Detroit and a couple of run-specialty stores have been sold or acquired by national (chains), so there was this real opportunity for us to go into metro Detroit and provide a Michigan-based specialty retail experience,” he says.
Lampen-Crowell says Gazelle Sports also plans to invest in its online business, offering shipments directly to customers’ doors if a product isn’t in stock.