Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Henri Bendel stores closing after 123-year run for luxury retailer

Henri Bendel stores closing after 123-year run for luxury retailer

"We have chose to stop operating Bendel to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential", CEO Leslie Wexner said in a company statement.

Henri Bendel now has 23 stores across the US, with only one in OH at Easton Town Center.

Henri Bendel opened his first store in 1895 in Greenwich Village in NY, selling clothing, fragrances, cosmetics and handbags and he created the store's iconic brown-and-white bag. Last year, the parent company reported revenue of $12.6 billion while Bendel's 2018 sales were approximately $85 million, according to CNN. These include Victoria's Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works. L Brands acquired Henri Bendel in 1985 and led its expansion into 11 states, the report said.

L Brands CEO and Chairman Leslie Wexner is no stranger to cutting his losses when it comes to apparel retail, having sold off his first endeavor, The Limited, in 2007 after 44 years in business.

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The upscale brand, which is best known for its designer purses and shoes, was founded in 1895 by Henri Bendel. "This decision is right for the future growth of our company, but not easy because of the impact to our L Brands family".

The company's flagship store on New York's 5th Avenue, steps away from Trump Tower and a landmark in Manhattan, also will close.

Associates staying with the business through January will be offered retention bonuses.

Jefferies has an "underperform" rating and a $20 price target for L Brands shares - 28% below where they are now trading.

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