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Talbots Inc.
Type Private
Industry Fashion
Founded Hingham, Massachusetts (1947)
Founder(s) Rudolf and Nancy Talbot
Headquarters Hingham, Massachusetts, United States
Number of locations 517 (February 2012)[1]
Key people Lizanne Kindler (President)
Owner(s) Sycamore Partners
Employees 9,000+
Website talbots.com (shopping)
talbotsinc.com (corporate information)
Talbots in Hudson, Ohio

Talbots is an American multi-channel upscale fashion retailer of women’s classic clothing, shoes and accessories established in 1947.

At the end of fiscal 2012, the company operated 504 Talbots brand stores throughout the U.S. (in 45 states) and Canada. The company's retail operation comprises approximately 85 percent of its overall business, with catalog and Internet sharing the balance. Online sales represent more than 70 percent of the direct business.

Talbots employs more than 9,000 associates throughout the U.S. and Canada.


In 1947 the husband and wife team of Rudolf and Nancy Talbot opened their first shop in Hingham, Massachusetts, United States, a town not far from Boston on the South Shore. In 1948, Rudy and Nancy launched their direct mail business by distributing 3,000 black-and-white fliers to names obtained from The New Yorker magazine. With a growing catalog enterprise and five stores in upscale outskirts like Hingham, Duxbury and Lenox, they sold the company to General Mills in 1973. Expansion ensued up and down the East Coast, but when General Mills divested its Specialty Retail Division in 1988, Talbots was acquired by JUSCO Co Ltd. (now ÆON Co Ltd.). Talbots became a public company in 1993 and was traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TLB. The New York City based private equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired Talbots in August 2012 for $391 million (including debt).[2][3][4]

Core business[edit]

The company’s core business encompasses its Talbots (Misses) line, as well as Talbots Petites, Talbots Woman and Woman’s Petites. The company also offers fashion accessories and shoes.

Additionally, Talbots operates Upscale Outlet and Clearance stores. Introduced in 2009, the Upscale Outlet stores feature specially designed merchandise at great values. Clearance stores offer Talbots merchandise from previous seasons at reduced prices.

Retail stores[edit]

Locations vary in size but occupy approximately 5,500 square feet (510 m2) on average.


In 2012, the company distributed 13 Talbots brand catalogs reaching a worldwide circulation of approximately 36 million.


With an established fulfillment and distribution system in place, Talbots entered the world of e-commerce in 1999. Its website offers a number of services, including: MyTalbots, which allows customers to register for benefits and customize their online shopping experience; Find in Store feature, which enables customers to locate and reserve merchandise in any Talbots store; a wide selection of "Web/Catalog-exclusive" merchandise.

Talbots Women's Scholarship Program[edit]

Since its inception in 1997, the Talbots Women's Scholarship Program has helped more than 600 women return to college later in life.[citation needed]

Associate Award of Excellence[edit]

The Talbots Charitable Foundation offers a scholarship program for the children of Talbots associates.

Both the Talbots Women's Scholarship Program and Associate Award of Excellence are sponsored by the Talbots Charitable Foundation and administered by Scholarship America.


External links[edit]