Women's wear retailer The Talbots Inc is to sell its J Jill brand and focus instead on its core Talbots business after posting a 13.9% drop in third quarter same-store sales.

The decision comes as the retailer nears the end of earlier plans to realign its business to focus on women aged 35 plus, and shuttered 100 underperforming stores, including its Kids, Mens and UK concepts.

Trudy F Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, said: "In light of the current macro-economic environment, we feel it is a strong move to focus solely on executing the successful turnaround of our core brand."

The retailer says it will benefit its business to redirect all of its resources and capital on its core Talbots Misses, Petites, Womans, Collection, and Accessories & Shoes concepts which operate out of 594 locations.

In the 13 weeks to 1 November, sales at the Talbots brand dropped 13.8% to $357m from $414m last time, while retail store sales fell 12.2% to $303m from $345m.

Comparable store sales for the Talbots brand were down 13.9%. Direct marketing sales including catalogue and Internet slipped 21.7% to $54m from $69.

Ms Sullivan said the results "reflect a challenging macro-environment," adding that overall performance "was significantly impacted when consumer traffic and spending dropped off dramatically with news of the global financial fallout."

The company is also withdrawing its second half forecast following its decision to sell the J Jill brand.

Talbots bought J Jill for $517m in 2006. The brand, which operates out of 282 locations, saw its second quarter same-store sales fall 13.2%, while retail store sales fell 7.5% to $74m.