Finish Line, Inc.

Finish Line, Inc.

company_name = Finish Line, Inc.
company_type = Public (NYSE|FINL)
company_slogan =
foundation = Company incorporated in 1976 in Indianapolis.
location = Indianapolis, USA
key_people = Alan H. Cohen, Chairman, & CEO
industry = Athletic Footwear
products = Clothing and Shoes
homepage = [ Finish Line, Inc.]

Finish Line, Inc. (nyse|FINL) is the second largest athletic retailer based in the United States, with international headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company, founded in 1976 by Alan Cohen and David Klapper, operates over 700 stores in 48 states under the Finish Line name, 90 under Man Alive, and 15 under Paiva (closed in 2007).

The Finish Line Inc. recently announced plans to buy Genesco Inc. which opereates under the brands: Hat World, Lids, Cap Connection, Hat Zone, Hat Shack, and Head Quarters, Lids Kids, Johnston & Murphy, Journeys, Journeys Kidz, shi by Journeys, and Underground Station. Finish Line outbid New York-based Foot Locker to buy Genesco.


In October 1976 two childhood friends, Alan Cohen and David Klapper opened the doors of Finish Line as a franchise of The Athlete's Foot at the Speedway Shopping Center in Speedway, Indiana.

By 1981, the owners' vision had widened beyond the 10 franchises they owned. They were ready to expand beyond Indiana, but The Athlete's Foot franchise rights ended at the Indiana border. At this point they decided to start their own company called The Finish Line. Cohen and Klapper approached another childhood friend, Larry Sablosky, with a full partnership opportunity. Dave Fagin, a manufacturer's rep who had been selling product to Cohen and Klapper, was offered the same deal.

By 1991, the company had grown to 105 stores located primarily in Midwestern and Southeastern states with an annual gross of nearly $100 million. The foursome took the company public in 1992.

Selection and product lines have expanded significantly since then. Known for its signature "shoe wall," a typical Finish Line store will show between 600 and 1,300 different kinds of athletic footwear, including basketball, running, walking, gym, aerobics, hiking, cross-training and skate shoes, not to mention cleats, casual shoes and sandals. Brands carried by Finish Line include Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, And 1, Oakley, Puma, Airwalk, Converse, Fila, Lugz, Saucony, Timberland, and Vans.

Today, approximately 20 percent of all sales come from apparel and accessories. This includes the latest in performance and fashion products from Nike, Oakley, Adidas, Fossil, Jansport, professional and collegiate licensed products, t-shirts, shorts, caps, and outerwear from other well-known manufacturers.

Finish Line Timeline

*October 1976 — October 1976 - Finish Line opens its’ doors for the first time as a chain of The Athlete's Foot.
*1981 — Two additional partners, Dave Fagin and Larry Sablosky, are brought on board, and the first Finish Line stores are opened.
*1986 — The Athlete's Foot franchise expires, and all The Athlete’s Foot stores are converted to Finish Line.
*October 1991 — Finish Line opens 100th store. Stores are located primarily in the Midwest
*1992 — Finish Line becomes a publicly traded company traded on NASDAQ (FINL).
*July 1995 — Finish Line opens 200th store.
*November 1997 — Finish Line opens 300th store.
*February 1999 — Finish Line hits a record $500 million in sales (for Fiscal 1998).
*July 1999 — Finish Line records its' first online sales.
*September 1999 — Finish Line opens 400th store.
*2002 — Finish Line becomes the second largest athletic retailer (based on sales revenues), and expands the company to nearly 600 Finish Line stores
*2005 - Finish Line acquires urban clothing retailer Man Alive with 37 stores in the Midwest. They quickly open over 60 more stores in the next year.
*2006 - Finish Line opens a division called Paiva targeting upscale active women with 15 stores around the country. This division is still in test mode.
*2007 - Finish Line outbids rival Foot Lockers for Genesco, operating Journeys, Hat World, Lids, and Johnston & Murphy.
*2007 - Finish Line closes Paiva's 15 stores to focus on its core concepts.

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