Talbots Signs With Li & Fung

Woman’s apparel and accessories merchant The Talbots has entered into a buying agency agreement with Li & Fung that will make the Hong Kong-based global consumer goods exporter the exclusive agent for substantially all Talbots apparel products.

As part of the agreement, Li & Fung will also be a non-exclusive agent for swimwear, intimate apparel, footwear, jewelry, handbags and accessories.

Talbots, which said in April that it was exploring a deal with Li & Fung, will pay an agency commission on its product purchases through Li & Fung.

Talbots President/CEO Trudy F. Sullivan said in a statement that the partnership with Li & Fung “represents another significant step towards enhancing our operating performance.”

In June, Golden Gate Capital acquired all of the J. Jill assets for $75 million. That transaction came just days before Talbots reported a first quarter net loss of $18.8 million, compared to net income of $18.5 million one year ago.

The merchant has also relaunched its Classic Awards loyalty program in an attempt to increase engagement, and aims to cut its catalog circulation from 55 million to 34 million by the end of 2009.

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