Finish Line Inc: Always a Step Ahead

If you have ever gone shopping in Indianapolis for a new pair of running shoes or cleats for the upcoming season, there is a good chance that you’ve found yourself looking in a Finish Line store.

Finish Line has always been well known for their enormous selection of shoes for men, women and children. What is not quite as well known is that Finish Line is a homegrown Indianapolis business started by two Hoosiers, Alan Cohen and David Klapper.

Finish Line stores are everywhere you look today. In fact every one of the Simon Malls in and around Indianapolis is host to a Finish Line store. The Circle Centre Mall, Castleton Square, Fashion Mall at Keystone, Clay Terrace, Hamilton Town Center, Washington Square and Greenwood Park are all malls that offer the Finish Line experience.

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In 1976 Alan and David took their first collective step towards shoe selling greatness by buying into The Athlete’s Foot franchise. They set up shop in the heart of downtown Indianapolis at Monument Circle, quite the location for their first store. However, even with this prime piece of Indianapolis real estate as the store’s location, Alan and David knew they wanted more. Their franchise  quickly grew to ten stores throughout the state of Indiana but it still was not enough.

Alan and David decided the time had come for them to put their own stamp on the athletic shoes and apparel market and opened the first Finish Line store. Judging by the fact that there are now more than 700 Finish Line stores in 47 states, it is safe to say they made the right decision. Finish Line has grown to be the second largest athletic retailer in the US and is still growing.

Finish Line has always sought to be different than their competitors. With this goal in mind, Finish Line has several key features that puts them above the rest. The first reason they are so popular is the size of Finish Line stores. Inside any mall the Finish Line store is almost always going to be twice the size of all other shoe stores. Most other stores might offer 300 styles if they are lucky. Any time of the year Finish Line offers 600 to 1300 different styles of shoes.

Finish Line also displays all of their styles on what has become their signature piece in all of their stores, the Finish Line shoe wall. Although it might not be the catchiest of names, what it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in substance.

Everywhere you look inside a Finish Line store all you are going to see are shoes,  smiling faces and the best in sports apparel. The apparel is a big part of why Finish Line has been so successful. It was not too long ago that athletic retailers chose not to carry sports apparel because they did not think it would make money. Finish Line went in the opposite direction, and today apparel sales is responsible for over a fifth of the company’s profits.

What started as the dream of two friends here in Indy has grown into one of the largest Indianapolis public companies. With so many locations just in the Central Indiana region alone, not only does Finish Line provide Circle City with shoe and apparel options, they provide much appreciated Indianapolis jobs. With over 12,000 employees nation-wide, a good portion of that number works right here in Indianapolis, both in their retail stores and corporate headquarters. No matter if you are running a marathon or just running some errands the Finish Line has you, and your feet,  covered.

Finish Line Inc.
3308 N Mittoehoeffer Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46236