Say it ain’t so! Henri Bendel, the 123-year-old shopping institution, is closing its doors. The store’s owner, L Brands, which also operates companies such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works released a statement on Thursday that it’s shuttering all 23 outposts including the beloved Fifth Avenue flagship by January 2019. This also includes Bendel’s e-commerce site.
Like the many other shopping meccas that have closed within the last few years, the decision comes down to lack of funds. Although a recent revenue report shows Henri Bendel brings in $85 million this year, but apparently the sum still doesn’t doesn’t make up for its operating losses and closing costs. Additionally, it’s hard for the high-end label-touting brand to compete with nearby department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.
This news comes to us just a few months after another Fifth Avenue staple—Lord & Taylor—announced it’s becoming a WeWork building after 104 years of business. Naturally, this poses a serious threat to New York’s epic holiday window displays, as both of these brands created some of the most legendary North Pole and Winter Wonderland scenes we’ve ever seen. Fortunately, Henri Bendel and Lord & Taylor are sticking around for one more Christmas in New York. Nonetheless, Fifth Avenue will never be quite the same.
– Jennifer Picht ; Time Out Magazine