Talbots set to discontinue its kids, men’s catalogs

Talbots confirmed that as part of announced plans to discontinue its men’s and kids concepts, the company will no longer mail separate catalogs for these categories.

Talbots will no also longer offer these categories on its Web site. The company had mailed four separate kids catalogs and two separate men’s catalogs per year. A company spokeswoman did not know when the last catalogs for these categories would be mailed at press time.

“This is a very important strate­gic move that will greatly contribute to our ability to focus and reinvigo­rate our core brands to provide sustainable long-term shareholder value,” said Trudy F. Sul­livan, president/CEO of Talbots, in a state­ment. “By exiting these concepts, we can focus exclusively on our com­pany’s core strength — the age 35-plus female market, where we believe there is significant opportunity for profitable growth in both our Talbots and J. Jill brands.”

As part of the men’s and kids brands shuttering, the company will close approximately 78 stores throughout the US, including 66 Talbots Kids and 12 Talbots Mens stores.

Talbots’ J. Jill brand did considerably better than its name brand in its third quarter results. The brand reported a same-store drop of 6.5% during the period, with retail store sales totaling $81 million compared to $77 million last year. Comparable store sales for the Talbots brand declined 8.2% during that period and retail store sales totaled $366 million compared to $383 million last year. Investment in J. Jill con­tinues, as Talbots recently appointed Paula Bennett, formerly of Eileen Fisher Inc., as president of the brand. She is respon­sible for merchandising, marketing and direct mar­keting, as well as store visual and design.

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