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Talbots Inc.
Industry Fashion
Founded Hingham, Massachusetts (1947)
Founder Rudolf and Nancy Talbot
Headquarters Hingham, Massachusetts, United States
Number of locations
517 (February 2012)[1]
Key people
Lizanne Kindler CEO, Mary Lynn Phillips, CFO
Products Clothing, shoes and accessories
Owner Sycamore Partners
Number of employees
Website www.talbots.com
Talbots in Hudson, Ohio

Talbots is an American specialty retailer and direct marketer of women’s classic clothing, shoes and fashion accessories.

At the end of fiscal 2013, the company operated 495 Talbots stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. These stores include 425 core Talbots (412 U.S.; 13 Canada), 65 Talbots Factory Outlets (U.S.) and five Talbots Clearance stores (4 U.S.; 1 Canada). The company's retail operation comprises approximately 80% of its overall business, with catalog and internet sharing the balance. Online sales currently represent more than 70% of the direct business


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 the Talbots Misses, Talbots Petites (designed for the proportions of women 5’4” and under) and Talbots Woman (for fuller figures in woman’s and woman’s petites sizes) lines. The company also offers a full line of fashion accessories and shoes.

Retail stores[edit]

The stores vary in size with the smallest measuring 1,290 square feet in selling space (Snug Harbor in Duxbury, Mass.) and the largest measuring 12,200 square feet in selling space (Madison Avenue in New York, N.Y.). Talbots stores are suited to a breadth of retail settings ranging from suburban towns and upscale shopping centers to lifestyle centers, regional malls and urban streets.

Additionally, Talbots also operates Factory Outlet and Clearance stores. Introduced in 2009, the Factory Outlet stores feature specially designed merchandise flogged off cheaply. Clearance stores offer Talbots merchandise from previous seasons at reduced prices.


In 2013, the company distributed 12 Talbots brand catalogs reaching a worldwide circulation of approximately 45 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, such as: MyTalbots, which allows customers to register for benefits and customize their online shopping experience; Find in Store, which enables customers to locate and reserve merchandise in any Talbots store; Web/Catalog-exclusive merchandise.