Arnold B. Zetcher, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Talbots, Inc. (NYSE: TLB), announced at the Company's Annual Shareholders Meeting today that Talbots goal is to be operating over 1,150 stores and to have approximate sales of more than $2 billion by the end of fiscal 2005.* At the end of fiscal 1999, Talbots operated 673 stores and had revenues of approximately $1.3 billion.

Called "Vision 2005," the long-range plan reflects expansion of only Talbots existing concepts, and looks for the Company to accelerate its store opening schedule each year, ramping up from 55 new stores expected in 2000 to nearly 100 stores by 2005.*

As outlined in the plan, the Company envisions continued growth opportunities in its core Misses and Petites businesses for at least the next several years. By the end of the year 2005, Talbots goal is to be operating nearly 490 Misses stores and approximately 275 Petites stores, up from 405 Misses stores and 155 Petites stores at the end of fiscal 1999.*

The Company also anticipates greater expansion from its newer brand extensions. Specifically, by the end of fiscal 2005, Talbots current long-range plan includes over 90 Talbots Accessories & Shoes Stores and nearly 115 Talbots Kids stores compared to 1999's 35 Talbots Accessories & Shoes Stores and 54 Talbots Kids stores.*

And in consideration of its current strong trends, the Company will also look to significantly expand its new large- size Talbots Woman concept. The Vision 2005 plan shows nearly 160 Talbots Woman stores, up from 5 Talbots Woman stores at the end of fiscal 1999. The mix and total number of stores in all concepts will be closely monitored and may change as conditions or trends change, the Company noted.*

As outlined in the Vision 2005 plan, total square footage under the plan would increase over 50%, from 2.8 million square feet at the end of fiscal 1999 to nearly 4.4 million at the end of fiscal 2005.*

Talbots long-range plan also calls for continued growth in sales and productivity of its catalog operation, which would be driven by a targeted mailing strategy, as well as expansion of the Company's new Internet business. Launched in November 1999, has attracted a significant number of new customers to Talbots and has been an immediate contributor to operating income. The Company anticipates furthering its on-line business through increased marketing and continued site enhancements.*

Commented Mr. Zetcher at the meeting, "We believe the strength of the Talbots brand and the flexibility of our classic positioning give us significant opportunities for sustained, long-term growth. Even as our core Misses and Petites businesses mature, our Talbots name serves as a powerful springboard from which to launch and develop potential new concepts. In addition, our strong financial resources provide us with the opportunity to consider potential acquisitions, if appropriate,"* Mr. Zetcher added.

"Our operating goal under the plan is to achieve a compound annual sales growth rate of 10% by continuing to leverage our three, closely integrated sales channels, and supporting them with strong inventory management and effective marketing programs. We believe we are currently well- positioned to execute our Vision 2005 plan and to enhance shareholder value by looking to achieve record levels of sales and earnings,"* Mr. Zetcher concluded.

Talbots recently announced record first quarter earnings per diluted share of $1.04 for the period ending April 29, 2000. This was 68% above the $0.62 per diluted share the Company earned in the first quarter of 1999.

Talbots is a leading national specialty retailer and cataloger of women's classic apparel, shoes and accessories. The Company operates 681 stores - 406 Talbots Misses stores, including 19 Talbots Misses stores in Canada and six Talbots Misses stores in the United Kingdom; 159 Talbots Petites stores, including one Talbots Petites store in Canada; 35 Talbots Accessories & Shoes stores; 54 Talbots Kids stores; seven Talbots Woman stores; and 20 Talbots Outlet stores. Its catalog operation circulated approximately 57 million catalogs worldwide in fiscal 1999. Talbots on-line shopping site is located at

The foregoing discussion of the Vision 2005 plan represents a working strategic plan based on various assumptions and estimates as to future events in an evolving retailing industry, and contains forward-looking information within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements may be identified by an "asterisk" ("*") or such forward-looking terminology as "expect," "look," "believe," "anticipate," "may," "will," or similar statements or variations of such terms. The specialty apparel retail business is an evolving, and highly competitive fashion-oriented marketplace, and such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties as to future events, including levels of sales, effectiveness of the Company's brand awareness and marketing programs, continued availability of suitable geographic sites for store expansion in all concepts, effectiveness and profitability of new concepts, effectiveness of its new e-commerce site and the overall effect of e-commerce on Talbots business, store traffic, acceptance of Talbots fashions, appropriate balance of merchandise offerings, and timing and levels of markdowns, and, in each case, actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. In addition, the Vision 2005 plan is intended as a guide for the Company's growth in an evolving retail environment and is subject to change. Certain other factors that may cause actual results to differ from such forward-looking statements are included in the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K dated October 30, 1996 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (a copy of which may also be obtained from the Company at 781- 741-4500) as well as other periodic reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission and you are urged to consider such factors. The Company assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statements.