NEW YORK -- Talbots will open its first European store in Kingston-on-Thames, England, in September.

The retailer of classic apparel, based in Hingham, Mass., will open a 3,575-square-foot unit in the Bentall Centre in the Kingston suburb, 11 miles southwest of London. Arnold B. Zetcher, president and chief executive officer of Talbots, said in a statement that this is the first step in Talbots's expansion plans for the U.K. and eventually throughout Western Europe.

The store at Bentall Centre will offer the same assortment of better-priced merchandise as in the American stores.

Mary Thigpen has been named head of U.K. operations, overseeing the expansion. She has been with the company for nine years.

Talbots operates 360 specialty stores in the U.S. and 11 in Canada. Its catalog circulation exceeds 60 million worldwide.

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