We caught up with our Lower Hutt Store Manager and newly appointed National Training Manager Rob Hamlin to find out more about him…
Tell us a bit about how you came to The Athlete’s Foot?
In December 2015 I was looking for a fresh challenge in the retail industry and I joined The Athlete’s Foot as the Store Manager in Lower Hutt. Working at The Athlete’s Foot really appealed to me as it is a smaller retailer, big on customer service and in the sports category.
Tell us more about yourself? What is your background and how has this helped in your role as Manager?
I live with my wife in the Hutt Valley in Wellington and we have two adult sons. Sport has always been a big part of my life, I play hockey and keep an eye on most other codes. I have plenty of experience in retail particularly in apparel, footwear and the outdoor categories. I have taken several roles along the way in Store Management, Training Management and Regional Management which have all prepared me for my new role at The Athlete’s Foot as National Training Manager.
What have been some of things you’ve enjoyed since you began at the Lower Hutt store?
I have really enjoyed helping our customers in Lower Hutt find the perfect fit. It’s been really satisfying sending them home happy in a great pair of shoes. I’ve learned a lot about shoe technology and getting a grounding in biomechanics has been fascinating.
The great thing about working at The Athlete’s Foot is the variety of people we get to meet and assist – from toddlers right through to our senior citizens. The different foot types and gait among the population is extremely varied and taking people through our fitting process gives us the ability to best match a shoe to their needs. It’s great to assist them to find the right shoe for their activity from training, running, walking, school, work shoes and even sandals.
Tell us a bit about your team members in the store?
My team of Fit Technicians come from a variety of backgrounds. Katie is my full-time Assistant Manager who steps in and runs the store when I’m out and about on National Training Manager duties. She is the newest member of the team and a keen athlete who is really enjoying the challenge of the role and assisting customers. We also have three part time team members – Brooke has been at the store the longest, she is a hardworking law student who enjoys sports and keeping fit. Harry has joined us straight from finishing school and is enjoying the sports shoe business, and lastly we have Shalom, another student, who is also really sporty with Wellington Rugby Representative on her CV.
What things can we look forward to in-store in the coming weeks?
We’ve always got plenty going on in store. Pre-season training has kicked off for winter sports so there is plenty of running along with the skills training happening. New season Netball shoes are currently on display out the front along with new colours and models of running shoes for those out hitting the pavements. We also have a good range of trail runners in store, suitable for some of those turf sports like hockey.
And for people that don’t know much about The Athlete’s Foot, can you tell us about the service and a couple of reasons why people should pop in store (aside from saying hello of course!)
The Athletes Foot prides itself on great customer service and finding the perfect fit. Everyone in our team spends several weeks training in our Fit Print system before we let them loose on customers. Our Fit Technicians are trained to assess customers gait and then match shoes to that gait. We have a wide range of brands, sizes and widths that enable us to offer a selection of shoes that will provide the support and comfort to keep our customers moving without fear of injury.
Lastly, what shoe are you currently wearing and why? And what shoe do you want to be wearing next and why?
I’m currently wearing the Wave Sky from Mizuno. I’m loving the superb U4icX cushioning from the heel, right through the forefoot. It’s light but a very stable neutral shoe, great for hockey training!
It’s hard to choose what I’ll go to next, but maybe the Asics Nimbus for the full foot cushioning with the GEL in the forefoot and heel and Flytefoam midsole.