By  on May 9, 2008

ATLANTA — Nike, Inc. and The Finish Line have opened a new retail concept named Finish Line Ltd that's customized to meet the needs of young running and training athletes.

The store, which opened May 6 at the Chandler Fashion Center near Phoenix, Ariz., is divided into three sections for running, sport style and training. Running leads the way with a significant Nike+ running story up front. Finish Line Ltd offers the complete Nike+ package, including the plus-enabled footwear, Nike+ Sport Kit and Apple iPod Nanos.

The store also carries an assortment of other leading running, training and sport style brands that are relevant to the young active consumer. The store also features an exclusive assortment of Nike performance and sports culture footwear that reflects that color of local high schools in the greater Phoenix area. The same colors are also in the Nike Pro apparel offering, enabling shoppers to customize Nike Pro apparel with their own high school sport, name and number.

The store offers an enhanced level of customer service, including in-store demonstrations of product by trained running sales associates. Customers can use Nike products for test runs too.

"This new store will serve young athletes who have a passion for running and training," said Nike Brand president Charlie Denson. "We're partnering with Finish Line to offer a higher level of service, a deeper connection to the local running community and a strengthened product assortment. It's part of our long-term strategy to elevate the marketplace, create energy at retail and connect with consumers in our core categories."

It may also help pull up sales at Finish Line, which reported a $48.1 million loss from continuing operations in fiscal 2008, as well as a comparable store net sales decrease of 4.7 percent for the year. The Finish Line also operates 94 Man Alive stores, and has 700 Finish Line stores.

In conjunction with the store opening, Nike and Finish Line will hold "Rock the Lot," a fun run, on May 18, inviting hundreds of high school students to participate.

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