Talbots Reports 5 Percent Sales Increase for April

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The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, a specialty retail and catalog merchandiser of classic clothing for women, yesterday reported a sales increase of 5 percent for the month of April, the four weeks ended May 1.

Sales were $103.4 million, up from the $98.7 million reported for the same period in 1998. Comparable store sales increased 1.2 percent for the month.

Arnold B. Zetcher, president/CEO, said the company was particularly pleased with the success of its most recent integrated marketing campaign. He also noted that because of the earlier Easter holiday this year vs. last year, "we feel our recent sales trends are best represented by combining March and April, which showed comparable store sales up 5.6 percent."

In addition, total sales for the 13 weeks ended May 1 increased 8 percent to $293 million, up from the $271.5 million reported for the same period last year. Retail store sales were $243.5 million, up 8 percent from the $225.8 million reported last year. Included in retail store sales was an increase in comparable store sales of 2.7 percent for the 13-week period. Catalog sales increased by 8 percent to $49.5 million, from $45.7 million in the prior-year period.

Talbots operates more than 600 retail locations, including 33 accessories and shoe stores, 57 children's stores and 19 Talbot's Outlet stores. The company's catalog operation circulated 53 million books in fiscal 1998.

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