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Chicago Fitness Show Taps Into $11.5 Billion Women's Market

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Chicago Navy Pier, June 29 to July 1, 2015

CHICAGO (May 4, 2015) – The Running & Fitness Event For Women (TRFEW), now in its second year, will occur June 29 through July 1, 2015 at Navy Pier in Chicago featuring an expanded conference and trade show as well as tie-ins with specialty retail groups Independent Running Retailer Association, and She Runs Retail.

The trade show has grown by 20% since last year, and will include such brands as A4, Ahnu, Altra, Avia, Brooks, CW-X, Eagle Creek, Fila, New Balance, ON, Osmo, prAna, Smartwool, Soffe, Soleus, Spenco, Ryka, The North Face, Timex, TomTom, Vionic and Zensah. 

Monday, June 29 will be devoted to a conference featuring strategic sessions and speakers who will address the growing women’s active business. Analysts say the market now represents more than $11.5 billion annually in the U.S.

Additionally, the trade show will host a fitness studio on the trade show floor which will include demonstrations, athlete appearances, and hourly classes on Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1.

“We’ve seen explosive growth in women’s active apparel, footwear and accessories over the past few years,” said Formula4Media’s Beth Gordon, show director. “We believe we’re still in the early stages. Yoga apparel, jogger pants and athletic footwear can be the perfect uniform for today’s active woman as she moves back and forth between work, the gym, family life, and everything in between. The Running & Fitness Event For Women conference and trade show covers that lifestyle and all the activities that are part of it, including yoga, running, studio fitness, barre sports and more.”

Featured Speakers on the first day (June 29) include: 

  • Libby Gill, former head of communications at Sony, Universal and Turner, who will present “Capture The Mindshare and The Market Share Will Follow.”
  • Erika Napoletano who will present “Unconventional Strategies and Tactics for Today’s Business Climate.”
  • Jim Dion and Stefania Pinton, who will examine women’s Internet shopping habits in a talk titled, “On the Rise and Online.”

On Sunday June 28, the day before TRFEW opens, the Independent Running Retailer Association (IRRA) will host its first ever two-day Apparel Summit created to help run specialty stores grow their apparel business. The Summit will take place at The DoubleTree Chicago, and is open free of charge to all IRRA members (, and will conclude June 29 just prior to the opening of TRFEW conference sessions. Sponsors include: Brooks/Moving Comfort, Handful, INKnBURN, Lucy, MPG, New Balance, Pearl Izumi, prAna, Saucony, Sugoi, Tasc, and The North Face. All IRRA Summit attendees will receive complimentary admission to the TRFEW conference and trade show.

There will also be a special breakfast presentation at 7:30 a.m on July 1 at Navy Pier with She Runs Retail, a grassroots organization with the mission to support, empower and mentor female owners, managers and leaders in the specialty running and fitness retail industry. This session is open to all attendees of The Running & Fitness Event For Women. 

Retailer registration is now open at, and retailers with questions about attending should contact Mark Sullivan at, or Christina Henderson at Limited exhibitor space is still available, and any brand with questions about exhibiting should contact Beth Gordon at, or 949 293 1378.

Editor’s note: Media interested in covering the event must pre-register by contacting Jeff Blumenfeld, director of communications,, 203 655 1600.

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