The Finish Line, Inc. has appointed Samuel M. Sato as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandise Officer of Finish Line. In this role, Mr. Sato will be responsible for all product lines, footwear, apparel and accessories for Finish Line stores and will report to Glenn Lyon, President of Finish Line.
A retail veteran, Mr. Sato's career spans 22 years at Nordstrom, Inc. where he led the Company's strategic and corporate merchandise initiatives, vendor negotiations, and product selection and purchasing for apparel and footwear on both a regional and divisional level. He most recently served as Vice President and Corporate Merchandise Manager for Nordstrom's Men's Shoes Division. Under Mr. Sato's leadership, the athletic business for that division grew by 70 percent and sales in the junior segment doubled over two years.
“Sam is a results-driven leader who has a solid record of creating and executing on strategic merchandising plans that drive growth,” said Mr. Lyon. “With responsibility for purchasing decisions across a range of categories, Sam has developed a deep network of vendor relationships, including relationships with our key athletic partners such as Nike, Adidas and Puma. In addition, he will support our efforts to identify and introduce new and emerging brands to our product assortment. We are delighted to have Sam as part of Finish Line's team.”
“Finish Line's consistent offering of premium product lines provides a strong foundation for growth and is an attribute that I have long admired,” said Mr. Sato. “I am excited to join the company and look forward to working with the management team in their efforts to ignite consumer excitement and realize Finish Line's full potential.”
Prior to being promoted to Vice President and Corporate Merchandise Manager for the Men's Shoes Division of Nordstrom in 1999, Mr. Sato served as Divisional Merchandise Manager, Shoes, where he drove the successful execution of strategic and corporate merchandise plans for women's, men's, and children's shoes for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Previously, he was Regional Merchandise Manager, Menswear, where he led Nordstrom's men's apparel business in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. In this role, Mr. Sato significantly grew the tailored clothing and junior apparel segment, which is one of Nordstrom's strongest segments to date. Mr. Sato began his executive career at Nordstrom in 1985.