Henri Ben­del to Close Af­ter 123 Years

Shoes & Accessories - - The Month That Was -

Henri Ben­del, the up­scale re­tailer, is clos­ing. Its par­ent com­pany L Brands Inc. has an­nounced . L Brands, which ac­quired Ben­del in 1985, un­veiled plans to shut down the brand’s web­site and 23 lo­ca­tions by Jan­uary,2019. Ben­del opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Vil­lage in 1895, ex­pand­ing into its cur­rent Fifth Av­enue flag­ship in 1913.

Slug­gish sales led to its de­ci­sion to shut­ter the Ben­del busi­ness, L Brands said. The con­glom­er­ate noted that it now in­tends to fo­cus on other brands with a larger growth.

“This de­ci­sion is right for the fu­ture growth of our com­pany but not easy be­cause of the im­pact to our L Brands fam­ily,” L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner said in a state­ment. “I want to thank our Ben­del as­so­ci­ates for their ded­i­ca­tion to this iconic brand and to our loyal Ben­del cus­tomers.”

In its hey­day, Ben­del, best known for its de­signer purses and footwear, was a New York re­tailer on par with stores like Saks Fifth Av­enue and Bergdorf Good­man.

The store’s name­sake founder was a women’s hat­maker from Louisiana who set up shop in New York in 1895. 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.

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