Let's play a round of John Moore's Would you miss... game. Unfortunately, this one's not hypothetical. Clothing retailer Talbots (NYSE: TLB) announced today that they're closing their Kids and Mens stores. They've looked at the numbers and talked with the financial analysts. I wonder if they asked customers? My family, for one, is going to miss them when they're gone.
Talbots Mens was an interesting idea that I wanted to like, and it's convenient to browse while my wife is in the women's store. I like some of the clothing, but too often, it worked better on the hanger than on me. So I'll miss the Men's store, but not that much.
Talbots Kids, though, is a real loss. They've been a consistent supplier since before my son could sit up—those sweats were so *cute* (and comfy)! Now he's just about to move from the little boys to the boys section, and we're not ready to give up our best source.
It's easy to summarize why we like TK's clothing:
- It's attractive. Cute on the little kids, appropriately good-looking in the larger sizes. Makes me want them in the big sizes.
- It's comfortable. Makes him that much more huggable—not that he needs any help. :-)
- It's durable. Especially when he was a baby, everything looked and felt almost new when he outgrew it.
- It's well-made, or so it seems to me.
I don't know if Talbots management looked up from their spreadsheets to talk with customers, but I wish they would. They can close the Mens store without affecting me, but if they close Kids, we won't be in the adjacent women's store so much, either. And we're going to have a tougher task at back-to-school time.
The stock market didn't like the announcement, either. Want to reconsider?
(Photo from Talbots.com.)
Update: I sent a note mentioning this post to Talbots PR. I got a personal note back from a Senior Manager in Corporate Customer Service, incorporating some approved language about the closures but avoiding the feel of a form letter. It doesn't change anything, but give 'em credit for responding to me personally.
Meanwhile, the first box of clothing in the next two sizes showed up today.