Shoppers Mourn the End of Henri Bendel, Which Is Closing After 123 Years
After 123 years in business, Henri Bendel is closing its doors. The luxury retailer announced this week it will close all 23 of its stores and its website in January 2019, after the holiday season wraps up.
Parent company L Brands, which bought Henri Bendel in 1985, said the decision was made to focus on the brands that have better potential for growth, like Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. When the company bought Henri Bendel, the store stopped selling clothing and focused on bags and accessories.
Henri Bendel, originally a hatmaker from Louisiana, opened his first eponymous store in Greenwich Village in Manhattan in 1895, the Wall Street Journal reports, selling clothing, cosmetics, and handbags. It later became the first luxury store with an address on “upper Fifth Avenue,” the first to have a fashion show, and the first to hold a semi-annual sale. According to Fortune, Henri Bendel also pioneered in-store displays, introduced Coco Chanel’s designs to the United States, and hired Andy Warhol as an illustrator.
Fans of the company spoke out with dismay on Twitter Friday, remembering the store’s iconic brown-and-white striped bags and hat boxes.
My first "designer" skirt suit was a Henri Bendel, likely purchased at Loehmann's in the early 1990's. I don't own the suit anymore, but I do own some fabulous accessories I purchased on 5th Ave over the years.— Melanie Notkin (@SavvyAuntie) September 14, 2018
Thank you and goodnight #HenriBendel https://t.co/FNWB7196Ed
Man. Henri Bendel closing. I have so many great memories and made so much money in that place.— apt78 (@APT78) September 14, 2018
Henri Bendel’s closing is so scary! Really puts into perspective exactly how badly ecommerce is dominating brick-and-mortar stores. Smh— Elle (@LucyluSaid) September 14, 2018
i don't know why this hurts my soul, because i bought a mug from there like once... but it really does https://t.co/20eKdyFtF9— Diana Pearl (@dianapearl_) September 14, 2018
Will always treasure my Henri Bendel items.. really a sad day to see the stores close! Will miss you @HenriBendel— Archana ? (@Archism) September 14, 2018
New merchandise will be added to stores throughout the holiday season, but it’s unclear whether the stores will hold liquidation sales before closing in January. Town & Country has reached out to L Brands for comment, but has not received a response.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors