Goodbye, Henri Bendel
It's a sad, sad day for fashionistas.
The 123-year-old iconic brand Henri Bendel will be closing it's doors officially in Jan. 2019, marking the end of more than a century of the department store. The brand's parent company, L Brands, announced Thursday that it was shuttering the operation because of poor sales numbers.
“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,” Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands, said to WWD.
“This decision is right for the future growth of our company, but not easy because of the impact to our L Brands family. I want to thank our Bendel associates for their dedication to this iconic brand and to our loyal Bendel customers.”
Bendel has left an notable mark on the fashion world. As a designer, he was the one to introduce Coco Chanel's designs to the United States after becoming the "first to stage a fashion show," according to the Bendel website. Henri Bendel also famously employed a young Andy Warhol as an in-house illustrator.
Though Henri Bendel will be closing all of its stores and its e-commerce business — including its iconic N.Y.C. flagship store — its presence will still be felt on Fifth Avenue. After all, as the brand's website states, Bendel was the first luxury retailer with an upper Fifth Ave. address, which spurred a whole new world for fashion.