Luke's Locker Story
Luke's Locker is a nationally recognized running and fitness retailer headquartered in Dallas. Owned by the Lucas family (Don, Sharon, Matt, Andy and Mike), they oversee its daily operations. To learn how we started, read this story or watch our short video.
Luke’s Locker is a nationally recognized running and fitness retailer with headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Owned by the Lucas family (Don, Sharon, Matt, Andy and Mike), they oversee its daily operations. To learn how we started, read this story or watch our short video.
Rewind to 1970. Don Lucas, a prominent Dallas attorney, was a running freak. But running had yet to catch on and was not nearly as prevalent a form of exercise as it is today. Hard to believe, right?
Well, Don kept running anyway. He had a small coterie of dedicated and like-minded friends (dubbing themselves “The Nooners”), who ran together during weekday lunch hours and on weekends at White Rock Lake in central Dallas. For most folks, running back then seemed an odd concept. When Don’s group passed people on the street, it wasn’t unusual for The Nooners to hear, “Hey! Where’s the fire?”
Occasionally, one of The Nooners would host a run at their house on the weekend (the birth of the organized, charitable runs we all know today). Don and his group were on the leading edge of the first running boom. They were inspired by the likes of Frank Shorter, Steve Prefontaine and Bill Rodgers.
Well, The Nooners were on to something. And Don had that unusual gift – as many successful entrepreneurs do – to tap into the cultural zeitgeist and get a glimpse of the future. Don Lucas could see the running boom just about to take the country by storm.
Only thing was, Don hated his shoes. They simply weren’t designed for running. What’s more, you couldn’t find such a thing as a running shoe in Dallas. So Don set about locating a source for shoes specifically engineered for running. And with lots of help from his wife Sharon, he started bringing together all the elements that would become Luke’s Locker…
As fate would have it, Don found a little company named Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) based in Oregon. Don worked out a deal with BRS and began to buy shoes from them for his personal use. Naturally, his running buddies wanted a pair or two for themselves when they saw Don’s.
Well, today Blue Ribbon Sports is a little company known as NIKE. Who knew?!
Don began buying shoes from BRS, plus shoes from Onitsuka Tiger (now known as ASICS) and a few more. Every weekend, Don would fill the trunk of his trusty old Alfa Romeo Spider, head to White Rock and dole out the shoes his friends had ordered.
As the Dallas running community steadily grew (and because the Alpha Romeo had a tiny trunk), Don began storing shoes in his home garage. Don and Sharon’s living room became the place people came to get fitted for running shoes.
Then the Lucas’ phone started ringing. And ringing. Sometimes late at night. Sharon knew something had to change. So Don and Sharon decided to open the first Luke’s Locker on Oak Lawn in Dallas. Besides running shoes, Luke’s also carried workout gear, some sportswear, sport-specific shoes (soccer, football, basketball, tennis, baseball), and a host of related accessories.
From the start, customer service and a friendly, engaging atmosphere were the top priorities. Shoes were individually fitted and advice was provided to help customers find the right shoe. Over time, the demand continued to grow for running and fitness gear. Today, Luke’s is also a preeminent retailer for fashionable women’s activewear.
Over the years, Luke’s has produced, directed and assisted with thousands of events. These range from the traditional 5K to marathons, half marathons, 10Ks and everything in between. Luke’s has a dedicated events team that is able to deliver all of the elements needed to produce a first-class event.
Luke’s now has locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Highland Village, Houston, Katy, Plano, Southlake, White Rock and The Woodlands. There is also a central distribution warehouse and administrative office in Dallas.
Oh, one last thing. If you happen to run into a member of the Lucas family (they are in the stores daily), ask how Luke’s Locker got its name. You are certain to get a different story from each of them.