GRAND RAPIDS — Running and active lifestyle specialty store Gazelle Sports has announced plans to open a sixth retail location in downtown Grand Rapids in 2022.
The Michigan-based retailer plans to open a storefront at 52 Monroe Center St. NW, the current location of Ali Nicole Bridal, which announced on social media a planned closing date of February 2022. The 3,600-square-foot store is planned to employ a full-time manager and 12 additional full- and part-time employees.
The new store will serve as a hub for Gazelle Sports events, including the She Runs Grand Rapids — formerly Gazelle Girl — half marathon, 10K and 5K races. The retailer is partnering with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and Rockford Construction Co. Inc. on building out the new location.
“As a business that started in downtown Kalamazoo more than 35 years ago, we believe in the power of local business adding to the vibrancy and experience of a great downtown community,” Gazelle Sports CEO Jennifer Brummitt said in a statement. “The vision for downtown Grand Rapids as a retail and wellness destination is a great fit for our organization, and we look forward to further committing to Grand Rapids by planting our roots on Monroe Center.”
The new location is planned to offer merchandise with a focus on activewear and footwear, as well as programming, events, running and walking clubs, injury prevention clinics, race training, social events and fundraisers.
“The pandemic had a significant impact on our small business community,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said in a statement. “As we look to build back from the pandemic, the downtown development authority and city are committed to attracting unique, community-focused retailers that will drive new customers into the downtown area in support of our existing retail base. I applaud Gazelle Sports for their longstanding commitment to West Michigan and am excited to welcome them to our downtown community.”
Gazelle has a second Grand Rapids-area location in Kentwood, as well as stores in Holland, Kalamazoo, Birmingham and Northville. The downtown Grand Rapids location will be the retailer’s first new location since 2016.