Runnings coming to Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN – A Runnings store – which sells farm equipment, clothes, toys and garden materials – will open in the fall at the former Walmart building off Fifth Avenue Extension, a company representative said.

A spokesman for the Minnesota-based store said Monday the company purchased the building.

Dennis Jensen, director of marketing at Runnings, said the town of Johnstown store will be one of the first Runnings stores in the Northeast.

According to the company’s website, Runnings operates more than 30 retail stores in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana.

The store offers a variety of goods.

“Really, everything you need to run your life,” Jensen said.

“The [former Walmart] building is a bit over 90,000 square feet; we will be using all of it,” Jensen said.

The exact layout of the site has not been determined yet, said Jensen, but the building will include the store and a warehouse in the back.

“We are in the planning phase right now,” Jensen said.

Jensen said the company plans to open two other stores in New York state – in Rome, Oneida County, and Canandaigua, Ontario County.

Jensen said the company determined the Northeast has a need for Runnings’ goods.

“There was some opportunities in some very nice markets,” Jensen said.

Nancy MacVean, Johnstown town supervisor, said she is aware of the purchase and the plans for the former Walmart.

She said she was told by Fulton County Treasurer Terry Blodgett the loss of the Walmart in the town of Johnstown could lead to the town losing up to $116,000 in sales tax revenue annually.

MacVean said the Runnings store, along with a proposed gas station on the corner of Route 29A and Elmwood Avenue, a new CVS on East Fulton Street and a planned Advanced Autoparts store at the Tractor Supply plaza along Route 30A, will help with sales tax revenue.

“So now, maybe we will be recouping that loss [from Walmart],” MacVean said.

Johnstown Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan previously said Runnings bought the former Walmart building for just less than $1.7 million.