Talbots was founded in a 17th-century colonial frame house in Hingham, Mass., in 1947. The following year, the company launched its direct-mail business by distributing 3,000 black-and-white flyers to names it obtained from The New Yorker magazine. Today, Talbots is a leading national specialty retailer, cataloger and e-retailer of classic apparel, shoes and accessories. At the end of fiscal year 2004, Talbots operated 1,049 stores throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its catalog operation circulated approximately 46 million catalogs worldwide. Each of its three sales channels offers the classic, high-quality merchandise that has been Talbots trademark for more than 50 years.