Talbots is an American specialty retailer and direct marketer of women's clothing, shoes and fashion accessories.
As of 2018, the company operated 495 Talbots stores in the United States: 425 core Talbots stores, 65 Talbots Factory Outlets and five Talbots Clearance stores. The company's retail operation comprises approximately 80% of its overall business, with the other 20% conducted via catalog and internet.[clarification needed]
The first shop, located in Hingham, Massachusetts, was opened in 1947 by Rudolf and Nancy Talbot. In 1948, the Talbots launched a direct mail business by distributing 3,000 fliers to names obtained from The New Yorker magazine. In 1973, they sold the company, consisting of a growing catalog enterprise and five stores, to General Mills.
The chain was expanded along the U.S. east coast. When General Mills divested its Specialty Retail Division in 1988, Talbots was acquired by JUSCO Co. Ltd..
Talbots became a public company in 1993 and was traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TLB. The New York City-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired Talbots in August 2012 for $391 million.