Nike accounts for more than half of Finish Line sales, executive says

Nike accounts for more than half of Finish Line sales, executive says

Ever wonder how much of the product sold in Finish Line, the Indianapolis-based footwear and apparel retailer, is attributable to Nike?

Sam Poser, a stock analyst with Sterne Agee Leach, Inc., wonders about these kinds of things.

And he asked Edward Wilhelm, The Finish Line, Inc., chief financial officer, principal accounting officer and executive vice president, that very question last week when Finish Line executives were discussing the company’s third quarter results.

Wilhelm’s answer: “It’s high 60 percent.”

That, then, would be in excess of $840 million of Finish Line’s $1.4 billion annual sales.

Poser also wanted to know about what brands were selling best in Finish Line’s stores-within-stores in its partnership with Macy’s. Finish Line has opened 181 branded shops this year in Macy’s.

“Nike, like in most athletic businesses, be it specialty or sporting goods, is the top brand,” Samuel Sato, Finish Line Brand president told Poser and other analysts on the conference call. “Skechers plays an important role with their GOrun products. And then, actually, as a percent of total, we’ve got fashion brands like Puma, for instance, that are right in the wheelhouse, especially for that female customer at Macy’s from a fashion perspective. And that brand is overperforming as a percent of total compared to Finish Line mall-based.”

Beginning this spring, Finish Line became the exclusive athletic footwear partner of Macy’s. Finish Line executives have said they expect the partnership to boost sales by about 30 percent — about $350 million to the company’s $1.4 billion yearly sales. The partnership, announced last year, also calls for athletic shoe assortments selected by Finish Line to be available at

Sato told analysts in the Dec. 20 conference call that women customers are a chief part of the sales strategy. Footwear brands, including Nike, are pursuing the same strategy.

“One of the most exciting aspects of our partnership with Macy’s is access to their predominantly female customer, a demographic that has been historically underserved by us,” Sato said. “We have to make sure to engage this customer with the right marketing, product and visual merchandising, as well as service levels. As we expected, we have learned a lot more about her from her taste and brand preferences to size information.”

— Allan Brettman

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