A Lake District company is to open its first-ever store as it prepares for a bumper summer.
inov-8 – a company that specialises in lightweight running, hiking and fitness kit – is to open its first-ever brand store called The Forge, located in Staveley’s Mill Yard, next door to inov-8’s newly refurbished offices and surrounded by fellow businesses popular with outdoor enthusiasts, such as More Bakery, Wheelbase, Wilf’s Café and Hawkshead Brewery.
The company will open the store on April 15 in partnership with Pete Bland Sports. It marks yet another significant relationship milestone between inov-8 and the Kendal-based running retailer, who were the first-ever to stock the brand’s shoes back in 2003.
Initially opening five days a week, from Thursdays to Mondays, The Forge will sell inov-8 branded run, hike and fitness kit for men and women.
Michael Price, COO of inov-8, who pioneer the use of graphene – the world’s strongest material – in much of their footwear, said: “We hope The Forge will become a real hub for adventure-loving locals and tourists who enjoy running, hiking and fitness.
“As well as it being somewhere to buy kit, we want it to be a place where people can come to share in their passion for the outdoors or to seek advice. In the coming weeks, we’ll also publish details of several outstanding trail routes that runners and hikers can take from the front door of The Forge.
“Opening the new store in partnership with Pete Bland Sports feels very special. They are the leading retailer for fell and trail running in the UK and, having stood next to their team in the rain selling products at events, I’ve seen first-hand how good their customer service and relationship-building is. This is why people travel from all parts of the country to visit their store in Kendal.”
Matt Bland, managing director of Pete Bland Sports, said: “We started out on a journey with inov-8 back in 2003 and have worked together on many ventures over the years.
“This will be the biggest, but the joint teams of Pete Bland Sports and inov-8 feel we can build something special to sit alongside our store in Kendal.
“It’s a milestone for us and a positive step as the business rises once again after the latest lockdown and the events of the last year.”