Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Economy | By

123-year old Luxury retailer Henri Bendel closing

123-year old Luxury retailer Henri Bendel closing

In August the company lowered its earnings forecast due to sluggish sales, partly a result of the spread of online shopping.

Henri Bendel, known for its signature brown-and-white bags, will close all 23 of its locations.

Women's luxury brand Henri Bendel, which this year celebrated its 123rd year in business, is closing its doors and website for good in January, said L Brands, which took over the specialty store in 1985.

Bendel only accounts for a small portion of L Brands' sales. These include Victoria's Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works. Last year, the company reported total revenue of $12.6 billion.

"We see risks at LB owing to increased competition and loss of pricingpower at VS (brand broken), PINK is now in a declining trend (brand breaking), and the BBW biz appears near peak and cyclical", the Jefferies team of analysts led by Randal Konik wrote in a note sent out to clients on Friday.

"This decision is right for the future growth of our company, but not easy because of the impact to our L Brands family", said Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO.

We visited the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and saw how the store closing represents a new era of retail. In 1913, Bendel was the first retailer to carry Coco Chanel in the United States, and in the 1960s, it hired Any Warhol as an in-house illustrator.

The Henri Bendel flagship store is filled with handbags, sunglasses, wallets, jewelry, and other accessories, all elegantly displayed under big, attractive chandeliers and surrounded by gold decor.

L Brands shares are up 5 percent on the news.

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