Multichannel Merchant quotes Chris Kampe, Tully & Holland's Retail Group Managing Director, regarding Sycamore Partners' offer to purchase Talbots.

December 7, 2011 - Private equity firm, Sycamore Partners submitted an unsolicited offer to purchase the struggling retailer, as Talbots continues to attempt to improve its deteriorating trends.  In the December 7, 2011 Multichannel Merchant article, Tully & Holland Managing Director, Chris Kampe, identifies some of the key challenges facing the troubled retailer.   

"Talbots continues to suffer from severe-store sales declines each quarter.  Gross margins have been negatively impacted by markdowns and promotions.  The result has been further declines in profitability.

"This year has been particularly disappointing,"  Chris says, "given that Talbots during 2010 appeared to be on the mend.  Recent results show deteriorating trends.  Talbots has largely burned through its cash on hand this year.

"Management is trying to right the ship through cost cutting, store remodels, and by closing underperforming stores,"  Chris adds.  While these are all the right things, "the chain probably needs to be a lot smaller to be successful and needs to regain its core customer."