Henri Bendel announced its plans to stop selling clothing this summer and to focus on the more lucrative accessories department. Apparently, while the sales of big ticket items like clothing has plummeted, the sales of makeup and accessories has held steady.
An article in the Times breaks the news… “Bendel, a division of Limited Brands, is changing its business model, from the department store that was founded in 1895 to a more mall-like chain selling Bendel-branded beauty and gift items, like an $18 box of tea in the company’s signature brown-and-white stripes.”
Why is this sad? I quote Wiki:
“Henri Bendel, a milliner by trade, was the first retailer to bring the designs of Coco Chanel over to the United States from Paris. Today, the company maintains this tradition of introducing influential socialites to what’s new and now in fashion by maintaining close associations with designers. Bendel’s also fosters the work of upcoming designers through its semi-annual “Open-See” events, at which vendors can present merchandise to corporate buyers on a “first come, first seen” basis, with the chance that their pieces will be selected for a trunk show or even for sale in the 5th Avenue store.”
A store that was once known for introducing the newest and hippest designers to the UES is now mall-ifying itself to stay afloat.
This recession sucks.