Specialty retailer and cataloger of women's classic apparel and shoes, Talbots Inc, on Thursday revealed a worse-than-expected 4.1 per cent slide in August same-store sales partly due to low inventory.

The Massachusetts-based operator of 862 stores said in a news release total sales for the four weeks ended August 31 rose one per cent year-on-year to $90 million and reaffirmed its third quarter EPS forecast of 70 cents a share.

Chairman and CEO, Arnold Zetcher, commented: "Our August sales trends got off to a strong start, but slowed in the middle of the month, resulting in a comparable store sales performance slightly below our expectations.

"We did see an improvement, however, in our regular-price selling trends in the latter weeks of the period. With August being one of the smallest sales volume months of the fiscal year, we view it more as a transitional period in which we complete our semi-annual clearance event."