April 20, 2024

businessweek

Taste For Business

Talbots to shut down Lakeville distribution center, lay off more than 275 employees

Talbots, the Hingham-based women’s garments retailer, programs to close its Lakeville distribution middle and lay off more than 275 individuals, in accordance to a detect filed with the condition.

According to the Talbots website, the Lakeville facility is its only distribution heart — all merchandise shipped to the chain’s merchants and shoppers pass by way of via the 1-million-square-foot facility. A spokesperson for Talbots explained the company programs to shift its fulfillment and distribution operations “to other amenities,” but did not give aspects and declined to comment further.

Talbots has much more than 500 retail spots globally. The firm advised the state that 277 workforce would be laid off in 3 phases, starting up at the close of July and ending by mid-November.

Founded in 1947, Talbots went personal a ten years back immediately after remaining acquired by New York private fairness agency Sycamore Partners, whose retail brands include Framingham-based Staples, Lane Bryant, Loft, and Ann Taylor.

The brand, well known amongst middle-aged suburban women, has prolonged struggled to appeal to younger buyers. Talbots, which makes company workplace staples, also has faced issues for the duration of the pandemic as its buyers began operating from home. And when Governor Charlie Baker requested all nonessential corporations to shut at the commence of the pandemic, Talbots not only had to shutter its retail stores, but it experienced to quickly pause do the job at its Lakeville facility, the only site in the United States that processed orders for on-line shoppers. (The facility was capable to stay open to create personal protective tools.)

S&P World wide, a rankings company, downgraded Talbots in January 2021 to deep junk territory, indicating that it thought the retailer would not be in a position to pay out back again its credit card debt.

All through the initial 3 quarters of 2020, Talbots’ income fell by 40 p.c, the agency discovered, selling the retailer to consider “aggressive action” to protect dollars. It delayed payments, withheld hire, and slashed its “payroll and other bills,” S&P World wide mentioned.

“The enterprise is enduring product sales declines as its clients prevent procuring and attending functions requiring new clothes,” the agency explained in a push release, incorporating that the suppliers “core buyers are 55 decades old and more mature,” a demographic additional prone to the results of COVID-19.

In the meantime, as cash was dwindling, personal debt payments ended up looming. The company mentioned Talbots had a $185 million asset-based loan, as nicely as a $350 million phrase loan, established to mature in October and November, respectively. Talbot’s ability to refinance the debt appeared “increasingly dim specified its latest frustrated profits overall performance,” S&P World said.

At the end of previous calendar year, S&P Global mentioned, Talbots repaid its expression bank loan a year early, as aspect of a private refinancing transaction. S&P Worldwide stopped following Talbots in December mainly because of the refinancing and a “lack of investor interest.”

Inventory charges of Massachusetts-dependent vendors have plunged due to the fact the begin of the calendar year. Canton-dependent Desired destination XL Group, which will make men’s garments in huge and tall dimensions, is down additional than 30 per cent, Framingham-dependent TJX Cos., which owns the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores, is down 25 p.c, and Quincy-based mostly women’s retailer J.Jill is down virtually 15 %.


Anissa Gardizy can be reached at [email protected]. Observe her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.