Sporting goods retailer The Finish Line Inc is to close its upscale women's shoe and athletic wear chain Paiva just 16 months after its launch in order to focus on "higher return opportunities."

The 15 stores and online business will cease trading by the end of the third quarter the company said yesterday (27 August).

"Consumer response to Paiva has been positive, however, we believe we can realise more acceptable returns in the near-term by directing resources toward the company's core concepts," said chief executive officer Alan H Cohen.

The company said it expects to record a pre-tax expense of $21m over the second and third quarters to close the business.

It is also hoping to redeploy Paiva employees to positions in its Finish Line stores.

Indianapolis, Indiana-based Finish Line in June agreed to buy clothing and hat firm Genesco Inc for around $1.5bn, in a deal that will broaden its offerings across footwear and apparel categories and give it a foothold in the growing branded and licensed wholesale business.

The same month it also swung to a third quarter net loss of US$3.9m from a profit of $4.4m in the previous year's quarter, blaming a decline in same-store sales and gross margins,

The company currently operates 697 Finish Line and 95 Man Alive stores.