Abby and Josh Willoughby at the Award Winning Sportitude Running store, Hindmarsh, South Australia

A 25-year focus on customers, staff, product, and innovation has seen Sportitude win the Store Design/Concept Award at the Inside Retail Australia 2022 Australian Retailer Awards.

“It’s hard to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas internationally, but this Sportitude store punches above its weight. As a runner, I found a lot to like about it, and the results are excellent.”

Jon Bird, Retailer Awards Judge and executive director at VMLY&R Global.

Sportitude Running’s Award Winning Store Design
RunDNA Lab at Sportitude Running, Manton Street, Hindmarsh, South Australia

At the same awards, Sportitude were recognised for their innovation, as a finalist in the Instore Customer Service Initiative category, with their shoe-fitting model, RunDNA.

25 years in the making

Joggers World opened in the Adelaide CBD in 1979. Tom and Gia Warhurst purchased the business in 1996 and have been trailblazers in athletic shoe fitting ever since.

With a focus on the customer, they quickly developed a reputation for knowledgeable service, and, along with quality products, developed a strong association with the running community, podiatrists and physiotherapists.

Tom and Gia’s son, Jack Warhurst, and daughter Abby Willoughby, along with husband Josh Willoughby now each manage separate parts of the business.

With business partner Roumen Staykov, ‘Sportitude’ was formed to establish the online business.

Joggers World were the first to introduce video gait analysis to assist in fitting athletic shoes. This focus on innovation has led to the development of the shoe-fitting model, RunDNA.

Moving from the CBD

The Advertiser article announcing the move to Manton Street, Hindmarsh.

For several years the team were monitoring the changing retail environment within the CBD. A steady stream of referrals from healthcare professionals and visits from the running community were ongoing, however the number of people working in the city, or prepared to come to the city, was declining.

At the same time Josh was leading the development of RunDNA. The model, which includes measuring comfort scores in combination with observing multiple data points, while a person is running, was providing deep insights into an individual’s shoe requirements.

With these results, along with the changing CBD retail environment, the team were committed to creating a retail space that redefined the athletic shoe-fitting experience.


As the pandemic was reaching Australia, the team reached out to C2M Consulting to provide marketing and communications advice.

Strategies were developed, with the focus being on supporting customers and referral partners.

In partnership with Michelle Prak FPRIA, communications were developed for use across multiple channels. RunTV was created – a weekly video for runners, developed inhouse during the COVID shutdown.

At the same time the Sportitude team launched an online shoe-fitting model.

Josh Willoughby was a guest on the Hooked on Sport Podcast (13:50), sharing how data is being used to identify the ideal shoe for runners.


With the new store on the horizon, the decision was made to retire the Joggers World brand. The new store to be known as Sportitude Running.

The original Sportitude logo was developed by the team at Malone + Co, who were again engaged to explore the design of Sportitude Running. In looking to develop a distinctive brand asset, the team came up with a focus on the letter ‘d’.

C2M Consulting and Michelle Prak developed the communications for customers and referral partners. A plan to ensure all podiatrists were given the opportunity to experience the new store was implemented by the Sportitude Running team.

New retail space

Sportitude Running and Martins Brand House teams planning the Sportitude Running store. Left-Right Jack Warhurst, Gia Warhurst, Abby Willoughby, Steve Robertson, Roumen Staykov, Kym Martin.

With many years of retail experience, the team had developed ideas that would see this retail space stand out. Martins Brand House were engaged, with Kym Martin and Steve Robertson taking the lead, as they refined and developed these ideas. The fit out was done by Inca Constructions.

With the new RunDNA labs, the shoe wall, well trained and knowledgeable staff, areas for running communities to hold events, the Sportitude Running store in Manton Street Hindmarsh has redefined the athletic shoe-fitting experience.

The Sportitude Running store was opened by City of Charles Sturt Mayor, Angela Evans in March 2021, and celebrated with a community run!

Tom and Gia Warhurst with City of Charles Sturt Mayor, Angela Evans and Mr Evans.

National award

This national award is recognition of what has been achieved with the new Sportitude Running store. It is also a celebration of a business that has been at the forefront of athletic shoe retail for 25 years.

It acknowledges Sportitude for their ongoing focus on customers, staff, product, innovation, and partners.

2022 Australian Retailer Awards

Inside Retail Australia


Jon Bird, Executive Director, VMLY&R Global

Professor Jana Bowden, Macquarie University

Dr Jason Pallant, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Swinburne Business School Nicola Mansfield, Entrepreneur, The Design Thinkers

Kellie Hush, Senior Advisor to the Australian Fashion Council

Jerry Macy, National Manager of Retail, Commonwealth Bank

Jo-Anne Hui-Miller, Editor, Inside Retail

Award Winners

  • Customer Experience of the Year (Medium to Large): TerryWhite Chemmart
  • Customer Experience of the Year (Small): healthylife
  • Online Store of the Year: Mimco
  • Store Design/Concept of the Year: Sportitude
  • Omnichannel Retailer of the Year: Winning Appliances
  • Retail Supplier of the Year: The General Store
  • Best Customer Service Team: Vinnies Victoria
  • In-Store Customer Service Initiative: Weber Inc. Store
  • Online Customer Service Initiative: Naked Wines
  • Loyalty Program/Campaign of the Year: Mimco