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INDIANAPOLIS-Shoe and athletic apparel retailer Finish Line plans to launch a new chain geared toward 25-to-40-year-old women who have household incomes of $80,000 or more. Executives, who revealed the chain during their second-quarter conference call, could not reveal its name, they said, because of a pending trademark.

About 70% of the items sold at the concept will be soft goods, while footwear will make up the rest. Finish Line executives are looking mainly at malls for the new chain’s expansion, but they say they are also considering lifestyle centers and street-front locations.

The company’s existing chain’s had what CEO Alan Cohen referred to as a disappointing second quarter. During the period, which ended Aug. 27, year-over-year same-store sales fell 2%, compared to a 6% jump during last year’s Q2.

Net income fell as well, by 8%, to $18.9 million, from $20.5 million last year. Net sales rose 9%, to $341.6 million.

Results were impacted, Cohen says, by underperforming men’s basketball and cross training footwear, as well as “general weakness” in women’s shoes. Footwear sales as a whole were flat, while soft goods’ sales fell 8%.

He blames those lags on a lack of newness in footwear brands. Cohen also says that competitive promotional pricing could challenge the company’s sales for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Finish Line operated 639 units at the end of the quarter, after opening 16 new stores during the period. Hurricane Katrina affected 12 units in the Gulf Coast region, and two of those stores remain closed.

Man Alive, a 38-store chain that Finish Line bought in January, did not open any new stores during the company’s Q2, but executives say they expect to open 13 new units in the mall-based chain by the end of the year.

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