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Talbots explains why Boro a good choice
Biz moore-cam
Jan Moore
    The new Talbots clothing store opened with much fanfare and anticipation this past Friday. At the 11:00 a.m. ribbon cutting, people were literally hanging out of the door feeling giddy that this national clothing retail company had decided to open a store here.
    What prompted Talbots to take a chance on this market? We don’t meet the standard benchmark used by many national companies of having 70,000 or more residents. We are not known for our affluence as our per capita income numbers are driven down by an inordinate amount of university students working in our marketplace.
    And, as far as retailing is concerned, we live in the shadow of our larger, older neighbor, Savannah.
    Joan Cedrone, Talbots’ regional director of the midsouth, said her company’s decision was based on cold, hard numbers.
    “We look at catalogue sales and zip code information provided by people that shop with us,” Cedrone said. “That information tells us the volume of sales coming from people that live in a given area.”
    “We had a significant amount of business coming from people that live in and around Statesboro and in the surrounding counties,” she said. “When that amount of business hit a certain level, we knew it was time to place a store here.”
    Cedrone said Talbots has stores in many communities across the country that are the size of Statesboro.
    “It really isn’t that uncommon,” she said. “Statesboro is the center of a local trading area, and we feel like this store will do very well.”
    Cedrone said she thought the decision to open a store in Statesboro was probably made by her company a year or so ago.
    “Assuming that we are able to secure a good location in a timely fashion, it usually takes about a year from the time the decision is made to actually open,” Cedrone said. “The Statesboro store is a nice fit between our other stores in Savannah, Hilton Head, and Augusta.”
    Cedrone said that her company is not worried about taking sales away from those stores just listed.
    “We like to be viewed not necessarily as a national brand, but more as a community merchant,” she said. “We want to be where our customers are, in the places that they would like to shop. We are very sensitive to our customers’ needs, and we really listen to what they have to say. And, they said they wanted us here.”  
    Until next week, I bid adieu.

    Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at jmoore@statesboroherald.net