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The Talbots Inc. (TLB) Dressed Up With Somewhere to Go

That somewhere to go is the road to future growth. The Talbots Inc. hopes their commitment to quality fashion will allow their customers and investors to share the ride with them. The company is an international specialty retailer and cataloger of women’s, children’s, and men’s fashion. They sell apparel, shoes and accessories in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Talbots Inc. has their headquarters in Hingham, Massachusetts. They trade on the NYSE as part of the Apparel Stores business sector. They operate 1,421 stores under the Talbots and J. Jill banners. The company’s target market for their J. Jill women’s wear is the 35 and over age group.

Their catalog division sent out 126 million catalogs last year. This broke down into 48 million under the Talbots brand name and 78 million under the J. Jill brand name. The company also operates online portals for Talbots and J. Jill. The Talbots combined operations employ approximately 16,000 associates.

Talbots originated in 1947 in a 17th-century colonial frame house in Hingham, Massachusetts. A year later, they started a direct-mail business and sent out flyers to names secured from the New Yorker Magazine. A publicly traded company since 1993, The Talbots Inc. acquired the J. Jill Group in 2006. This company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Talbots.

The J. Jill subsidiary is a multi-channel retailer. They have approximately 200 stores in 35 states and 12 separate catalogs. Their focus is to provide fashion to women who seek a sophisticated casual lifestyle. The company sees the products of the J. Jill brand as fittings that are flattering yet forgiving, with fabrics that are soft and comfortable. They highlight fluid styles distinguished by unique, feminine details.

In 2007, revenues for The Talbots Inc. were $2.2 billion. The majority was from Talbots at $1.8 billion. As a recent acquisition, J. Jill provided 478 million in revenue. Through both channels, The Talbots Inc. seeks to gain more share of the sales in the apparel industry sector. They seek to give their shareholders a reason to dress up and celebrate due to the continued profits they hope to provide them.

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