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Talbots closes store at Mall at Chestnut Hill

Posted by Derek McLean  June 20, 2011 12:20 PM

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The Talbots store at the Mall at Chestnut Hill closed on June 11, a casualty of the Hingham-based clothier’s plans to close up to 110 stores over the next two years.

“As part of our previously announced plans to reduce Talbots store base and square footage, we closed our Chestnut Hill, MA store at the beginning of June,” said a Talbots spokeswoman in a statement. “We appreciate the Chestnut Hill community for its support over the years and we are pleased that our customers will be able to continue to shop with Talbots at our Wellesley, Boylston St. and Natick Mall locations or at Talbots.com.”

“At this time we do not have any other stores scheduled for closure in the Boston area,” the spokeswoman said.

Talbots has been selling women's clothes at the Mall at Chestnut Hill in Newton since 1988.

“Tiffany’s will be moving from the Atrium Mall across the street to the Mall at Chestnut Hill and will take over the former Talbots space on November 1, 2011,” said Arika Beaudry of Regan Communications, which represents Simon Property Group. Simon owns both the Atrium Mall and the Mall at Chestnut Hill.

Talbots Inc. announced the mass closure of stores in a press release on June 7, four days before the Chestnut Hill store closed. Approximately 83 stores are expected to close in 2011. As many as 110 stores in total will be closed by 2013. In addition, the company said it will also consolidate or downsize 15 to 20 stores over the next two years.

“The 110 stores that are planned for closure contributed approximately $21.0 million in sales and $4.0 million in operating loss in the first quarter of 2011, including $2.0 million in restructuring charges and $1.2 million in impairment of store assets,” Talbots said in the June 7 statement.

As reported by the Boston Globe earlier this month, Talbots has seen substantial drops on the New York Stock Exchange of late. The company’s shares fell 40 percent on June 7.

Talbots’ first quarter income in 2011 from continuing operations was $0.9 million, compared to $7.1 million last year, which was also a loss.

"Our first quarter performance reflects an inconsistent customer response to our merchandise assortments, a challenging competitive environment and high levels of promotional activity,” said president of Talbots Trudy F. Sullivan. “Although we did see a positive customer reaction to our March brand moment, our February and April brand moments underperformed and sales in each month of the quarter decreased year over
year."

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