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TALBOTS ANNOUNCES OCTOBER SALES; Fall Catalog Sales Remain Strong.

HINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 7, 1996--The Talbots, Inc. (NYSE:TLB) today announced sales for fiscal October, the four weeks ended November 2, 1996, increased 12% to $86.3 million from $77.3 million for the four weeks ended November 4, 1995. Comparable store sales increased 2.3% for the month.

The Company also announced sales for the third fiscal quarter, the thirteen weeks ended November 2, 1996, increased 7% to $247.5 million from $230.5 million for the thirteen weeks ended November 4, 1995. Retail sales were up 8% to $199.2 million from $189.7 million last year. Included in retail store sales was a decrease in comparable store sales of 1.7% for the thirteen-week period. Catalog sales were up 6% to $48.2 million from $45.6 million in the prior year.

Year-to-date sales for the thirty-nine weeks ended November 3, 1996 increased 4% to $715.7 million from $686.6 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended August 4, 1995. Comparable store sales decreased 3.8% for the thirty-nine week period. Catalog sales were $129.1 million compared to $129.3 million last year.

Arnold B. Zetcher, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Results from each of our key fall catalogs reflect the continued customer acceptance of our merchandise changes. Store sales performance in October did benefit from the shift in our midseason sale one week later versus the comparable period last year. Nevertheless, customer traffic in our Misses and Petites stores remains a key challenge for us contrasted by our Kids business, which reported a 14.6% comp store increase for the month."

Talbots is a leading national specialty retailer and cataloger of women's classic apparel, shoes and accessories. The Company operates 526 stores - 346 Talbots Misses stores, including 19 Talbots Misses stores in Canada and five Talbots Misses stores in the United Kingdom; 100 Talbots Petites stores, including one Talbots Petites store in Canada; 11 Talbots Accessories & Shoes stores; four Talbots Intimates stores; 55 Talbots Kids stores and 10 Talbots Outlet stores. Talbots majority shareholder is JUSCO Co., Ltd./AEON Group, a Tokyo-based international retail conglomerate.

In compliance with a request from the National Retail Federation, the Company has for comparison purposes adjusted its sales reporting period for October 1995 to the four weeks ended November 4, 1995 from the four weeks ended October 28, 1995.

CONTACT: The Talbots Inc.

Eileen M. Howard, 617/741-7775

Margery Brandfon, 617/741-4019


Morgen-Walke Associates

Christine DiSanto/Caroline Babbitt

Stacy Berns - Media Relations, 212/850-5600
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 7, 1996
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