Finish Line to convert local shopping mall store to JD Sports brand

At least one of Finish Line Inc.’s local stores will become a JD Sports location as the new owner of the Indianapolis-based athletic shoe and apparel retailer weighs whether to convert the entire 555-store chain to its brand.

Finish Line plans to convert its Greenwood Park Mall location to a JD Sports store, according to a permit application filed Aug. 21 with the city of Greenwood. The estimated cost to convert the 10,536-square-foot spacea project that requires a remodeling—is $150,000, the permit says.

British sportswear and apparel chain JD Sports acquired Finish Line in June for $558 million in cash. Based in suburban Manchester, England, JD Sports has more than 1,200 stores in 16 countries—but, until now, none in the United States.

Finish Line plans to test the JD Sports brand by converting about 50 of its stores to JD Sports locations over the next 10 months, Finish Line CEO Sam Sato said at an Association of Corporate Growth breakfast event in July.

If the early test is successful, the company will convert all its locations to JD Sports stores. “Or, if it is not worth the investment from an ROI perspective, we’ve got to go full steam ahead with the current Finish Line remodel strategy,” Sato said at the time.

One reason for the uncertainty is that Finish Line and JD Sports stores carry significantly different merchandise mixes.

Apparel makes up only about 5 percent of Finish Line’s sales, but 45 percent of JD Sports’ sales. JD Sports, which focuses on high-end customers, carries apparel brands including Calvin Klein, Columbia, Lacoste, The North Face, Tommy Hilfiger and others. 

Finish Line officials declined to answer questions about the conversion, including whether other local Finish Line stores will also be changed to the JD Sports brand. 

In addition to its Greenwood Park Mall location, Finish Line also has stores at Washington Square Mall, Lafayette Square Mall, Circle Centre, the Speedway Super Center and Castleton Square Mall. The retailer also has branded locations within Macy’s stores at the Greenwood and Castleton malls as well as the Macy’s store at 6101 N. Keystone Ave in Glendale.

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