Henri Bendel, the iconic luxury brand that has its flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, is closing after 123 years in business.
The brand was started by Henri Bendel in 1895, when he moved to New York and began making white-and-brown-striped bags and hat boxes that appealed to the city’s elite. Ninety years later, in 1985, Henri Bendel was acquired by L Brands.
Now, after 123 years in business, the retailer is closing its doors for good.
L Brands, which also owns Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, and La Senza, announced on Friday that it would be closing all 23 Henri Bendel stores, including its website and flagship store, to focus on its more profitable brands. The stores are set to close in January, but they will still have new merchandise for the holidays, according to a company press release.
“We are committed to improving performance in the business and increasing shareholder value. As part of that effort, we have decided to stop operating Bendel to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential,” L Brands chairman and CEO Leslie Wexner said in a statement on Thursday.
“This decision is right for the future growth of our company, but not easy because of the impact to our L Brands family.”
The Henri Bendel flagship store is filled with handbags, sunglasses, wallets, jewelry, and other accessories, all elegantly displayed under big, beautiful chandeliers and surrounded by gold decor.
We visited the store in New York City the day after it announced it would be closing, and we found it was a vestige from a more glamorous era of retail. Here’s what it’s like: