August 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

Talbots dresses up its web site with a new look and more personalization

An updated rich media application on the retooled Talbots.com lets visitors shop by outfit and see recommended shoes and accessories. The revamped site runs on an ATG e-commerce platform Talbot`s installed last year.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Multichannel women’s clothing retailer The Talbots Inc. is dressing up its e-commerce site with a new look.

The retooled web site, which operates on an e-commerce platform from Art Technology Group installed last year, features cleaner and bigger images, improved navigation and several new personalization features. An updated rich media application on Talbots.com, No. 106 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, lets visitors shop by outfit and see recommended shoes and accessories.

Other features let readers create and store items on a wish list and view videos and read related content on the latest fashion styles and trends. A new sales section also includes weekly online specials and store-related savings and events. “Our new web site is designed to provide functionality that informs, inspires and helps our customer shop,” says Talbots chief marketing officer Lori Wagner. “Talbots has always prided itself on exceptional customer service, and we felt it was necessary to extend that service online. The platform further allows us to deliver targeted promotions and recommendations on timely, relevant products to our customers”

In conjunction with the new web site, Talbots also is introducing a new pant fit initiative online and in catalogs and stores. Talbots has designed three new styles of pants to complement women’s different shapes and sizes and are styled after looks created by movie stars Grace Kelly and Katherine Hepburn. An online video on the pant initiative and featuring stylist Mary Alice Stephenson was launched this week on Talbots.com

The newly redesigned web site comes at a time when Talbots is looking to turn around flagging web sales. Talbots won’t release its second quarter financials until Sept. 9. For the first quarter ended May 2, e-commerce sales for Talbots decreased 11.7% to $33.8 million from $38.3 million in the first quarter of 2008 while total sales decreased year over year 26.2% to $306.2 million from $414.8 million. Comparable-store sales fell by 26.9%.

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