TALBOTS’ PLAN: ANNUAL SALES OF $2B BY ’05

NEW YORK — Talbots Inc. unveiled an ambitious five-year plan Thursday that calls for a compound annual sales growth rate of 10 percent and over $2 billion in annual sales.
Speaking at the company’s annual meeting in Boston, Arnold B. Zetcher, chairman, president and chief executive officer, called the plan “Vision 2005” and said that the company will meet its goals partly through an accelerated ramping up of store openings. He also said that the company’s “strong financial resources provide us with the opportunity to consider potential acquisitions, if appropriate.”
At the end of 1999, the specialty retailer operated 673 stores with annual sales of $1.3 billion. At the end of 2005, the company is projecting more than 1,150 stores and sales over $2 billion. Total square footage under the plan would increase over 50 percent to 4.4 million in 2005 from 2.8 million square feet in 1999.
Implementation of Talbots’ Vision 2005 initiative begins with a ramping up of its store opening schedule to nearly 100 stores per year by 2005 from 55 new stores in 2000. Talbots’ goal is to operate 490 misses’ stores and 275 petite stores by the end of 2005, up from 405 misses’ and 155 petite units in 1999. The company is planning on greater expansion of its newer brand extensions: more than 90 Talbots accessories and shoe stores from the current 35 unit total, and nearly 115 kids’ stores from the current 54 sites.