After being fouled by Genesco (NYSE:GCO) a few days ago, floundering athletic footwear and apparel retailer Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL) reported uninspiring second-quarter results last evening. The company has been stumbling for some time, so the results were not a surprise; even so, sales did come in slightly below expectations.

On the bright side, management provided valuable details on how it plans to turn around its core business. But due to legal constraints, the company could not comment on the Genesco deal that made some investors wonder what Finish Line was thinking.

The company posted a quarterly loss of $0.04, but after backing out pretax charges for asset impairment costs, a writedown of inventory, and lease costs related to exiting the struggling Paiva chain of women's active apparel, the company met consensus estimates of $0.13 per share. Investors aren't reacting well to the news, as the stock is down nearly 7% today. While closing the Paiva stores may have hindered performance this quarter, I think the move eliminates an underperforming business and allows management to focus on fixing the namesake and Man Alive stores.

Finish Line has proved its success in the premium side of its business. Plans to fix the existing ailing operations include shifting to more of these premium products in both performance and sport style categories. Also, management has initiatives to improve product margins and inventory management. And things are looking up already as Finish Line product margins improved 60 basis points and inventory per square foot was reduced by 8%. 

If you tuned in earlier this week, you got the scoop on the mess between Genesco, Finish Line, and the deal financier UBS. With the way things are going, I can't help but wonder if Finish Line is in proper financial shape to get the deal done. And Genesco isn't helping matters. Its own financial performance is sinking enough to give Finish Line cause to look into backing out of the deal.

The best advice for Fools may be to avoid the situation entirely. Footwear companies such as Skechers (NYSE:SKX), Steve Madden (NASDAQ:SHOO), and Wolverine World Wide (NYSE:WWW), may be negatively affected by the hit-or-miss characteristics of the fashion cycle, unpredictable consumer tastes, and overall economy, but over the long run, they've all succeeded in their businesses and have provided lucrative returns to their shareholders.                                  

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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann is long shares of Nike, but has no financial interest in any other company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.