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HINGHAM, MA-Say goodbye to Talbots Kids and Mens. Parent Talbots Inc. will close the chains by September to focus on its core – its namesake womens’ apparel and accessories chains, and J. Jill.

The company will close approximately 78 stores, consisting of 66 Kids units and 12 Mens stores. The decision to exit the childrens’ and menswear business came after a strategic business review announced in October revealed that the concepts “did not demonstrate the potential to deliver acceptable long-term return on investment,” according to a press release. Talbots Kids was founded as a catalog in 1989, and opened its first store the next year. The first Talbots Mens catalog was issued in 2002, with its first store opening in 2003.

“This is a very important strategic move that will greatly contribute to our ability to focus and reinvigorate our core brands and provide sustainable long-term shareholder value,” said Trudy F. Sullivan, president and CEO. “By exiting these concepts, we can focus exclusively on our company’s core strength – the age 35-plus female market, where we believe there is significant opportunity for profitable growth in both our Talbots and J. Jill brands.”

Currently, though Talbots and J. Jill sales are trending below expectations, the company admitted. The chain is continuing to evaluate all store expansion.

Talbots operates 1,428 stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 1,157 stores under the Talbots brand name and 271 stores under the J. Jill brand name.

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