announced that it has opened a new design concept store at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. This unique and innovative 5,500-square-foot store features an upscale residential feel, five individual rooms for different merchandise stories, and other exciting elements that bring Talbots' “Tradition Transformed” brand platform to life and aims to appeal to both long-time and new Talbots customers. Talbots chief creative officer Michael Smaldone collaborated with Robin Kramer at Kramer Design Group on the space.
The Garden State Plaza design concept store pays tribute to the Talbots brand heritage and DNA through its personalized and boutique-like shopping environment. Extensive customer research and feedback drove many of the important features of the store’s design and merchandise presentation, which include a new color palette, a more luxurious fitting room environment, area rugs, marble nesters, ceramic tiles, étagères, brass-rimmed windows and a brass door.
The store carries a full assortment of missy and petites merchandise and offers a wide breadth of style choices in apparel, accessories and shoes. As a design concept location, key features in store design, fixtures and merchandise presentation are being evaluated for potential rollout to existing stores in support of the company’s overall store reimage program.
“We are thrilled to bring our customers an innovative and truly inviting shopping environment at our new design concept store in Westfield Garden State Plaza. We look forward to fostering deep relationships with our long term, loyal customers as well as those who may have just recently discovered the brand,” says Trudy
One of the big issue that I see with Talbots is that it will have to spend a significant amount of capital over the next several years to update and freshen their store base. They've neglected their stores, which look very old and tired. At the same time they are changing their customer focus. Very risky, but if they can pull it off, there is big upside in this stock, but it might be seveeral years out before any big improvement. I think they will struggle for a year or two. However, people are very impatient. They don't want to wait and want results now.
Commenting on the strategy for the new store’s design and features, Michael Smaldone, chief creative officer, says, “The opening of this design concept store is a significant step in continuing to push the Talbots brand forward and offering a premium customer experience across all of our channels. This unique store brings the highest standard of our ‘Tradition Transformed’ platform to our customers and allows us to engage with her through a memorable and more personalized shopping experience that we modeled after a woman’s dream closet. We are delighted with the positive feedback we have received about the store from our customers since the opening.”
In order to deliver the unique an innovative shopping experience of this new design concept store and maintain brand integrity, Talbots partnered with Kramer Design Group on architecture, interior design, graphics and merchandising. Kramer Design Group works with leaders in fashion, home, luxury and lifestyle to capture the essence of a brand and communicate its identity through all facets of the consumer experience. By developing powerful new signatures, revitalizing existing brands, and creating enticing environments, Kramer Design Group brings clarity and focus to each brand, setting them apart from their competitors. Kramer has re-imagined more than 100 brands in the global marketplace.
The Talbots, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories. At the end of the fourth quarter 2010, the Company operated 568 Talbots stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Talbots brand on-line shopping site is located at www.talbots.com.