Fleet Feet Sports purchases UltraMax at the Village Shops, plans changes

Paul Hefferon was a standout high school runner who went on to be a member of the KU track team.
Paul Hefferon was a standout high school runner who went on to be a member of the KU track team.

From the outside, things don’t look all that different just yet, but the running and fitness store at the Village Shops has a new owner.

UltraMax Sports closed early on Tuesday as staff prepared for the transition to open under the management of new owner Paul Hefferon of Fleet Feet Sports. A former track standout at Blue Valley West who went on to run for the University of Kansas, Hefferon had been working in risk management for Lockton Companies for a couple of years when he decided he wanted to get back into the running industry.

He partnered with Fleet Feet, which has stores throughout the Midwest in cities like St. Louis, Omaha and Wichita, to open their first Kansas City-area operation.

While the general offerings at the store won’t change dramatically, Hefferon said Fleet Feet will definitely be expanding the product lines in popular apparel categories.

“We will be placing more emphasis on the apparel and sports bra fitting side of things,” he said, “bringing in a nice range of yoga and lifestyle apparel products.”

Hefferon also said the company would be trying to expand the store’s presence in the community by working closely with local schools. Fleet Feet will be holding special fitting nights for the cross country teams from SM East, North and West next month, and will be donating 10 percent of Saturday sales those weeks to the teams’ booster clubs.

The store will also be coordinating running training programs, starting with an info session on training for a 5K to be held next Wednesday, August 5. More information is available on the Fleet Feet website.

Though the store has been operating as Fleet Feet since Wednesday, Hefferon said it will be about a month before all of the store’s signage is changed out.