Salming Sports plans to open a third Salming Run Lab in Switzerland in March, as the Swedish brand continues to diversify and to build on its particular approach to running shoes. Salming has long been known as a leading brand of equipment for floorball but a few years ago it started investing more strongly in handball and squash, and two years ago it moved into running, focusing on the concept of natural running. An apparel range was launched last month for both outdoor and indoor runners, called Run & Gym.

The brand's running range is sold by specialist running and triathlon stores, along with larger accounts such as Intersport and Stadium, the Swedish sporting goods retail chain. It has been pushed by investments in running events, social media and Team Salming, composed of runners, triathletes and orienteering athletes. Salming sealed a strategic agreement in June with the organizers of Xterra, the off-road triathlon and trail running series, to become the official partner of the Xterra America Tour and U.S. Championships. The brand also partnered with Xterra races in the U.K. and Sweden.

The Swedish company prides itself on its “holistic” approach to running, meaning that it aims to help runners improve their technique, strength and agility, as a way to reduce injury rates while improving performance. It has therefore developed the Full Body Running Analysis, which studies a runner's technique with a motion caption system recording every move precisely. The main point is that how a foot lands is normally the result of movement in another part of the body.

The concept will be fully displayed at the Salming Run Lab to open in Zurich in March with Taurus Sports, the brand's distribution partner for the country. Two centers have already been opened in Sweden, one at the Salming head office in Gothenburg and the other in Stockholm's city center. The two Swedish facilities combine retailing with a Run Lab, as will the one in Switzerland. The entire Salming running space will take up about 250 square meters in the Taurus Sports store of about 1,000 square meters.

With a budgeted turnover of €12 million this year, Salming Sports's products are distributed mostly in Europe but sales have been growing in Asia and the company restructured its operations to expand sales in North America. It opened a subsidiary last year in Raleigh, North Carolina, focusing on running, and in May it took over the activities of Clutch Sports and Floorball Pro, which had been building up Salming's indoor range in North America since 2004. More in SGI Europe.