A YORK shop that counts Ronnie O'Sullivan among its customers has come through the pandemic fighting fit.

Up & Running, the specialist training shoe retailer, has just moved into larger premises in the city centre as the Yorkshire company celebrates its 30th year in business.

A team of 15 employees moved stock overnight from its shop in Fossgate to its new base just metres away in Colliergate - in the former Cast Iron Bath Company - for the opening on Tuesday this week.

And up until Saturday - when the shop will have a grand opening - customers who buy a new pair of running shoes will also receive a free pair of Up & Running socks.

In celebration of the business's success, we are naming them our Traders of the Week.

Each week we are shining the spotlight on the independent businesses that really make York special.

If you would like to nominate a York trader - or perhaps you run a local business and want to tell us your story - you can tell us more via this online form: www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader/. It's all completely free of charge.

Meanwhile, we caught up with Up & Running's York store manager Richard Lowson to find out why business is booming after Covid.

Richard, who has worked for Up & Running for 17 years, said they were lucky that they had a robust online business when the lockdown forced all their stores to close.

York Press: Richard Lowson of Up & Running in YorkRichard Lowson of Up & Running in York

He said: "Our mail order team worked hard and we soldiered on. We had no store closures and no staff loses."

And business quickly picked up when lockdowns were lifted, he added.

"A lot of people took up running during the pandemic, so we were very busy last year. A lot of people couldn't go to the gym or were working from home and took up running to get out of the house."

He said the rise in popularity of Park Runs, trail running and ultra or endurance running has also led to a demand for shoes.

York Press: Just some of the running shoes on sale at Up & RunningJust some of the running shoes on sale at Up & Running

The business began 30 years ago, established by Gillian and Dennis Macfarlane in Harrogate. It now has branches across the UK.

Richard said excellent customer service and staff knowledge were some of the keys to the business's success. He said most staff were passionate about the activity and customers were offered a gait analysis to make sure they bought the right shoes, which was vital to prevent injury.

The shop also organises a free club every Monday from 6.30pm, where people enjoy a social run of 5k.

And he said they have had some celebrity customers over the years.

"Ronnie O'Sullivan and Steve Davis have popped in. Ronnie is a keen runner. They have come in when the snooker championships have been on at York Barbican."

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Our next Trader of the Week

To nominate a York trader, tell us more via this online form: www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader/