May 14, 2012
The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer-goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics around the investing world.
In today's edition, Austin talks about Talbots and the company's need for a big reset button. The specialty clothing retailer has struggled over the past 12 months while some of its peers have managed a strong rebound. Austin thinks Talbots could look at Liz Claiborne -- which is seeing monster growth from its Kate Spade brand -- for an example of what to do to help shares rebound. Talbots already offers things like shoes and handbags, but more of an emphasis on accessories would be a big win. Inventory remains a big sticking point as well -- simply put, it needs to be drastically cut if the company expects to bounce back in a meaningful way. Maybe that buyout offer from Sycamore needs a second look, too, especially now that Sycamore has upped the ante.
Of course, maybe a turnaround just isn't in the cards. Massive changes are occurring in the consumer world that have left many people seeing "The Death of Retail," Does Talbots have what it takes to survive in this evolving industry? Maybe, maybe not, but you can read about two companies that will thrive by clicking here.