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Talbots Plunges Most Since 1993 as Markdowns Trim Margins

Talbots Inc., the U.S. clothing chain that targets women 35 and older, fell the most since its 1993 public offering after saying fiscal second-quarter sales will decline “significantly” and discounts to lure back customers will hurt profit margins.

“High levels of promotional and markdown activity” will boost costs for sales, buying and occupancy, the Hingham, Massachusetts-based retailer said in a statement today. The retailer’s shares sank as much as 41 percent.