Topics: Retailing, Sales, Customer service Pages: 7 (2649 words) Published: October 10, 2008
Company Overview / Company History
In the trend-driven world, Talbots is a classic staple for women’s fashion. Along with along with the companies mission to mix the flirty trends of today with its main classic styles, Talbots sticks to what its known for which keeps bringing back loyal customers. Founded in 1947, Talbots now has more than 1,350 stores in 47 US states, Canada, and the UK, under the Talbots and J. Jill names. Talbot’s is a leading specialty retailer, cataloger and e-tailor of women, children’s and men’s classic apparel. Its collection for women includes high-quality sportswear, versatile career separates, casual wear and special occasion classics in an extensive range of sizes. A complementary selection of shoes and accessories provides customers with "head-to-toe" wardrobing. The company also offers children’s clothing through its catalog, internet site and in Talbot’s Kids retail stores located throughout the U.S. Talbot’s Men’s, the company’s line of high-quality classic sportswear for men, is available in select retail locations as well as online and in a separate catalog mailed in the spring and fall. Talbot’s maintains a timeless, unconditional guarantee on its merchandise supporting its credo, "Do What is Right for the Customer." (Sullivan) Talbot’s mission statement is “Talbot’s is a growth-oriented, customer responsive company. We will be the leader in marketing classic apparel and related merchandise to the quality conscious, tasteful customer.” This defines the company’s business objective and shows how the company is committed to quality products and quality service. We are totally committed to giving each customer a great experience as they shop through great service. Lynda Cane, one of Talbot’s long time customers said, “You always know you will be taken care of when you walk thought the red doors of Talbots, everyone treats you as if you are family.” In order to maintain these objectives, we offer a personal shopping service and build relationships with our customers through personal phone calls as well as personal notes. This service we provide meets the requirements of our mission statement as well as supports our credo. (Sullivan) In the future, Talbots will be closing the men’s and kid’s divisions throughout the world, focusing on the women’s apparel and bringing in clothing that will be fashionable and relate to the trends of the main clientele.

Industry Analysis based on Porters five forces
Michael Porter developed a theory called the Five Forces as a model for industry analysis. This model is to be used to show how a company can be competitive in their given market. The five forces, in layman’s terms, are as follows: •The threat of substitute products

The threat of the entry of new competitors
The intensity of competitive rivalry
The bargaining power of customers
The bargaining power of suppliers

The Porter diagram attempts to determine the competitive intensity of a market by examining how each of the Five Forces affects the company. The first Force, Threat of Substitution is affected by the ability of your customers to find a different way of doing what you do. If substitution is easy and substitution is viable, then this weakens your power. This affects Talbots, and possibly more than any other of the Five Forces. The fashion and clothing industry is a tough and extremely competitive market. Most areas that Talbots operates stores are in close vicinity to their competitors, especially in malls. Because the market is so competitive, Talbots relies heavily on their customer service and quality of products to gain an edge on their competition. The second force the Threat of the entry of new is affected by the ability of people to enter your market. If it costs little in time or money to enter your market and compete effectively, then new competitors can quickly enter your market and weaken your position. If you have strong and durable barriers to entry, then you...

Cited: Plunkett, Jack W. Plunkett 's Retail Industry Almanac
2008: Retail Industry Market Research, Statistics,
Trends & Leading Companies. Houston, Texas: Plunkett
Research Ltd., 2007.
Sullivan, Judy. Talbots - "the New Approach" Ms. Talbots
Store – 135, King of Prussia, PA. 2008.
Sullivan, Judy. Talbots Business Binder. Ms. Talbots
Store - 135, King of Prussia, PA. 2008.
Valeo, Tom. "Growing Old, Baby-Boomer Style." CBS News.
10 Jan. 2006. 8 Apr. 2008 .
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