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INDIANAPOLIS-With nearly 300 stores coming up for renewal through the end of 2010, the Finish Line is not just looking for rent cuts, but serious reductions from landlords to turn unprofitable stores into the black, executives said at the company’s second-quarter conference call.

About 40% of the company’s units are coming up for a lease renewal or possible kickout, and the company has in some circumstances seen rents decrease from the high teens or low $20s per square foot to high single digits.

“We’ve been finding the lease negotiations have been successful, helping to turn some losers into winners,” said Steven J. Schneider, president and COO. “We’re not looking for shavings here.”

Plans call for opening four to five new units this year, while closing 20 to 25 stores.

Store sizes also may change, increasing or decreasing depending on the potential mall traffic, said Glenn S. Lyon, CEO.

“What we’re looking for is productivity,” Lyon said.

For the quarter, sales were $298.7 million, down 11.4% from the same period last year. Comparable store sales declined 9.9%. Income from continuing operations was $11.7 million vs. $14.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported year-to-date sales of $557.8 million, down 7.2% from last year. Comparable store sales declined 7.2%. Earnings from continuing operations were $13.5 million, compared with $17.3 million a year ago.

The Finish Line operates 680 Finish Line stores in 47 states.

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