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Talbots fights back with new stores

US womenswear chain Talbots has unveiled a three-year turnaround plan, including store openings, to help reverse its declining performance.
The group will open 35 stores for its Talbots Woman range over the next five years, and will also expand its plus-size Talbots Woman offer in its Misses stores. The retailer, which has 1,400 Talbots and J Jill casualwear stores across the US, Canada and Japan, is predicting a 3% growth in sales for 2008.

The accessories offer will also be expanded, but footwear will be scaled back. Core customers are to be targeted more strongly with its Talbots Collection premium line, in a bid to improve margin through better sourcing.

Talbots also plans to open up to 40 outlet stores over the next three years.

Store openings for J Jill have been halted until performance improves, with a marketing drive and product overhaul in the pipeline.

The group has already announced plans to close 100 stores, and is predicting a 4% sales growth by 2010 after losses in the past three quarters.

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