Finish Line to open concept store with Nike

Indianapolis-based The Finish Line Inc. and Nike Inc. are opening a concept store in the Phoenix area catering to young runners and athletes in training, the companies said today.

The store, to be called Finish Line Ltd., will be divided into segments focusing on running, sport style and training, and will specialize in shoes, clothing and other products offered by Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike.

Shoppers also will be able to color-coordinate Nike shoes and clothing in the colors of local high schools. The products can be customized with the school sport, name and number.

The store, which will open May 18 in Chandler Fashion Center, will offer in-store demonstrations and the ability to test the products.

In August last year, Finish Line abandoned its Paiva upscale women’s clothing stores and online business after nearly two years of trying to break into a market for active women. Finish Line said that while the stores were received well, the company’s assets could be deployed better elsewhere.

Finish Line also is coming off a bruising fight that first involved elbowing aside New York-based Foot Locker Inc. to buy Nashville, Tenn.-based mall retailer Genesco Inc., and then winning a struggle to end the acquisition before it closed.

In March, Finish Line paid $39 million in cash and more than 6.5 million shares of stock to back out of the $1.5 billion deal after Finish Line’s bank, USB, got cold feet in the aftermath of the credit market collapse.

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