Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Finish Line and Genesco’s shotgun wedding

December 28, 2007

Check out a court ordering athletic shoe retailer Finish Line to complete its $1.5 billion purchase of Genesco.

In June this pairing seemed like a match made in heaven. Now they’re being forced to the altar kicking and screaming.

“When you combine the entities together we really have a strong positioning across all these multiple categories of footwear,” Finish Line Chief Executive Alan Cohen told Reuters back in June.

But nearly two months later, Finish Line got cold feet and said it would weigh its options after Genesco — a shoe and hat retailer — posted a surprising quarterly loss.

A Tennesse court on Friday found Finish Line in breach of the deal and ordered the sneaker seller to close the deal. 

The news whetted investor appetite for Genesco shares, and its stock surged as much as 16 percent following the announcement. Finish Line’s stock plunged as much as 25 percent.

Also in the basket:

Holiday online receipts are strong, but reflect growth rate decline (New York Times)

Store traffic falls in week before Christmas (Reuters)

Jewelry brands look to capitalize on accessories (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription required)

Wal-Mart cancels movie download service (Reuters)

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