Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Amateur and commuting runners can find functional clothes, sneakers, and experts’ advice at the Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan. Owner Tommaso Murò, a former bank advisor who now owns and runs the store, believes in the importance of offering high-quality sneakers and clothes. He also organizes running sessions, courses and races for his clients. “They appreciate how we serve and advise them,” he comments. “They feel we work differently and only offer the best. “We prefer to sell them top quality products from day one rather than having them buying cheap products that get destroyed after a few washes.” 

What are the current bestsellers and why?
Our bestselling brands for sneakers and apparel mostly include Asics, Mizuno and Brooks. We only carry the top offer from these brands because also our customers prefer to buy good products from the start. They prefer to spend more rather than buying cheaper products that could cause them problems when running. After compiling a small survey on each customer’s foot type and body size, expertise level and eventual health problems, we tend to advise our clients on the model that fits their needs best. As part of our store’s offer there are not many variants available in terms of aesthetics, colors or models for Asics and Mizuno. On the contrary Brooks, that only sells sneakers and apparel for running, offers trendier products including, for instance, technical variants of pied-de-poule or pinstriped fabrics for running jackets and sneakers. As for sneakers, also for apparel they look for items to be worn in layers. This way they can manage running in any weather and body heath condition. We also sell well Under Armour and BV Sports; this last one is a French brand most copied by others for their very good technical apparel quality.

Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
Many of our clients mostly care for technical qualities than for aesthetic ones. They are looking for products that protect them best, for instance, from cold, friction and cervical pains. Every brand has own fits and each customer gets fidelized to those that better meet their needs. The only brand whose offer is wider, if we don’t include their compressive apparel, is Under Armour.

Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan
Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends?
Agents are often informing us about what color trends will be strong for a season, even if the products we sell have a better quality. Some other companies organize own two-day workshops and events, like, for instance, Brooks does. This often happens when they launch some new special research on product or study.

How important is the communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
We mostly communicate with them through our website and facebook page through which we communicate about our store’s promotions and events open to everyone. We also have a newsletter that we send our customers. We also divide them according to men and women and, for instance, inform them when we are launching or promoting a specific line - be it an anti-cellulitis garment or any other range. We also host a technical expert by Mizuno who visits our store for analyzing our customers’ gaits. We often also organize running sessions with Jeff Galloway, an athlete who has developed a special walking method that alternates running with walking during a race. It is a method that requires less training therefore makes running more accessible. With him we often organize a shorter version within Stramilano, a popular race happening in Milan every spring and afterwards have breakfast together. We have also organized a night run with Brooks promoting a running jacket that glows in the dark, plus organize other no profit runs in favor of LILT, an Italian non-profit organization supporting cures against cancer.

Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan
Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan

What are the most important trends, in general?
The main trend we might see is that our customers opt for quality. Rather than buying a low-price Decathlon top at €15 they opt for a top that costs about €50, but it doesn’t tear to pieces after a few washes. Similarly they understand they have to buy good running shoes that cost about €220 since from the beginning. This way they avoid to have problems with their ankles and knees. For these reasons we have stopped stocking lower quality products and only sell top ones.

Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
We have started to also include some gadgets to be worn when running, but we generally tend to work with the same brands.

How does your store differ from other stores?
We like to advise our customers and transfer some of our experience and competence to them. Our passion is an added value that shows how much we care for them and how our store differs from others. We follow our customers and they notice how much passion we put in it because we approach them very quietly – differently from bigger stores.

What do you like about your customers?
We like their trust. After they came to our store and got positive results, they return. For them it’s a way to show their appreciation to our store and how we supported them. Some customers return to our shop simply for updating us about the results of a specific race they ran. This shows what relationship we have built with them.

Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan
Oops Gotta Run! store in Milan

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
This shop was founded in 2006 by a Canadian lawyer who stopped her old job and started focusing on her passion – running. Her idea to open this store was inspired by a Canadian chain of stores specialized in this sport. Then she left and I became owner of the store in 2013. Similarly to the former owner, I also left my bank advisory job. The store’s name also well conveys how we both chose to concentrate on what we liked best. The store is all painted in red, as the Canadian store it was inspired by. This aggressive and lively color continues to be an attraction for our clients because it’s a source of energy for them. We mainly focus on excellence of our offer. For us substance matters. It’s the product that speaks for itself.

Oops, Gotta Run!
Via Vettabbia 1
20122 Milano