Can Talbots Survive?
Talbots, the preppy store with the red door, is fighting for relevance in the fashion market. The chain, which has always focused on classic fashion that skews a bit older, is looking to stay afloat at a time when retailers are facing major challenges. WWD reports on the company's three-year program. Talbots is planning to stay the course in terms of their take on classic clothing but they will also have an increased focus on large sizes offering both "boutiques" of large size offerings in their regular stores and additional Talbons Woman stores. They will also launch a premium outlet concept this year. The store has shut down their men's and children's divisions honing their focus on women's fashion.
It's an uphill climb for Talbots, which also owns the J. Jill brand. J. Jill generally attracts customers in their late forties and the Talbots average customer is in their fifties. Part of the challenge it seems is that younger women aren't turning to Talbots as they age. I think that there has been a fundamental shift in which women in their 30s and 40s find themselves to still be interested in fashion and current styles and continue to be drawn to department stores which offer clothing from a wide variety of current designers.