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Talbot sees dip in Q3 sales due to discontinued opts of J.Jill

07
Nov '08
The Talbots, Inc. today announced third quarter sales for the thirteen weeks ended November 1, 2008. The Company also announced that it will focus on its core Talbots business and is pursuing the sale of its J. Jill brand.

Trudy F. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Talbots, Inc., commented, "We have made great strides in reenergizing the Talbots brand and are encouraged by both our existing and lapsed customers' response to our product and marketing efforts.

In light of the current macro-economic environment, we therefore feel it is a strong move to focus solely on executing the successful turnaround of our core brand. While we have made solid progress in improving the J. Jill brand's operation, we have made the strategic decision to pursue its sale."

With the Talbots brand greater than 60-year heritage and exceptionally loyal customer base, the Company is confident it can maintain its strong positive cash flow by redirecting all of its resources and capital towards its core Talbots Misses, Petites, Womans, Collection, and Accessories & Shoes concepts. The Company believes that this exclusive focus on the Talbots brand can generate significant return on investment and drive long-term increased shareholder value.

Talbots Reports Third Quarter and Year-to-Date Sales Results:

Operating results of its J. Jill brand will be reclassified as discontinued operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 and all prior periods. In addition, during the third quarter the Company completed the closedown of its Talbots Kids, Mens and U.K. operations and those operations will also be reclassified to discontinued operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 and all prior periods.

Therefore, the following financial results reflect continuing operations of the Talbots Missy, Petites, Womans, Collection and Accessories and Shoes concepts only. Talbots reported total sales for the thirteen weeks ended November 1, 2008 of $357 million, versus last year's sales of $414 million. Retail store sales were $303 million compared to $345 million last year.

Comparable store sales for the Talbots brand declined 13.9% for the thirteen-week period. Direct marketing sales for the thirteen-week period were $54 million, including catalog and Internet, compared to $69 million last year.

Year-to-date sales for the thirty-nine weeks ended November 1, 2008 were $1,167 million compared to $1,280 million reported for the thirty-nine weeks ended November 3, 2007. Retail store sales were $983 million compared to $1,084 million last year. Comparable store sales declined 10.9% for the thirty-nine week period.

Direct marketing sales for the thirty-nine week period, including catalog and Internet, were $184 million compared to $196 million reported last year. Internet sales continue to gain traction, and now represent 59% of the total direct business, compared to 53% for the same period last year.


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