L Brands to close all Henri Bendel stores
The luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing. L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said that the 23 Bendel stores — including the one at the Somerset Collection in Troy — will turn out the lights in January. The company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential.
Henry Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol.
Tariff pinches lobster industry as prices lag
The American lobster industry is starting to feel the pinch of China’s tariff on U.S. seafood as exporters and dealers cope with sagging prices, new financial pressures and difficulty sending lobsters overseas. China is a major buyer of lobsters, and it imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. said their business in China has dried up since then.
Wholesale prices for live lobsters have dipped a bit as dealers have lost markets. Prices in July and August were slightly less than the same month in the previous year.
Stocks end a wobbly day mostly higher
U.S. stocks posted a late rally to close mostly higher for a fifth consecutive day, led by gains in the financial and energy sectors. The dollar strengthened after U.S. 10-year note yields briefly climbed past 3 percent.
The S&P 500 and Dow finished just in the green after slumping midday, when Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump instructed aides to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products.
Retail sales just barely up in August
U.S. retail sales barely rose in August as consumers slowed their spending after a robust month of shopping in July. The Commerce Department said the value of purchases ticked up just 0.1 percent last month, the smallest increase in six months.
But the sluggish figure may prove only a temporary blip. It partly reflected falling prices for items like clothing, and it followed a strong gain of 0.7 percent in July.
Consumer confidence soared to its highest level in 18 years in August. That suggests that retail sales could rebound in the coming months.