Clothing chain Talbots Inc on Thursday posted a better-than-expected 19 per cent fall in July same-store sales amid solid regular-price selling of early fall merchandise and above plan sales of clearance merchandise. The Massachusetts-based company, which stocks women's and children's apparel and will soon start selling men's fashions, said total sales for last month slipped 11 per cent to $94.5 million from 2001 but raised its second quarter earnings guidance to 31-33 cents a share from 30 cents a share.