NEW ALBANY – A Tupelo sporting goods store will expand to New Albany in January, locating next to the Tanglefoot Trail’s north end.
Trails and Treads, which specializes in running shoes, bicycles, swimgear and other equipment and apparel for athletes and fitness pursuers, will open at 100 E. Bankhead St., diagonally across from City Hall and across the trail from Van Atkins Jewelers.
The trail’s opening in October “certainly played a role” in the new store’s location, said Trails and Treads owner Harris Magruder, who opened his Tupelo store in 2004.
“Our bike sales have grown tremendously since the opening of the trail,” he said. “We’d been eyeballing New Albany anyway from a running standpoint, and the community seems to be able to support it.”
Magruder said his Tupelo store serves running clubs and cross-country teams in Union County.
“New Albany is a healthy running community,” he said. “Our New Albany store will have a more concentrated effort to help the schools with their cross-country, to help coaches develop game plans for their teams.”
Another of the store’s attractions for Union Countians will be its affiliation with trainer Heather Dooley, a New Albany native, who works with people on every part of the fitness spectrum, from couch potato to competitive runner.
“She has helped people get started on weight goals, fitness goals and speed goals,” Magruder said. “If you want to get back on a bike, we can help you do that. If you want to lose 50 pounds, we can help you get on that plan, too.”
Magruder said the New Albany store will provide a better base from which to help organize more races for Union County and surrounding areas. Three people have been hired for the store, which is scheduled to open in “mid- to late January,” and he anticipates a total of five or six employees.
The Tanglefoot Trail is a 44.56-mile-long strip of asphalt on land that was previously the Mississippi-Tennessee Railroad. Magruder thinks it will attract current runners and cyclists as well as stirring many locals to up their fitness levels.
“You’ll definitely have a smattering of people from Memphis and Birmingham who want to tackle the trail,” he said.