WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Luxury retailer Henri Bendel is closing its business after 123 years.
Parent company L Brands (LB) Thursday said it is closing Henri Bendel's website and all of its 23 stores, including the store's iconic Fifth Avenue location in New York, in January 2019 largely due to poor sales.
The stores include the company's Fifth Avenue store as well as smaller-format stores in 11 states. All stores and the website will remain in operation through January 2019 with new merchandise continuing to arrive through the holiday season, the company noted.
Henri Bendel had opened the first store in New York's Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century. Henri Bendel was a women's hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. L Brands had acquired the brand in 1985.
'We have decided to stop operating Bendel to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential,' said Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of L Brands. 'This decision is right for the future growth of our company, but not easy because of the impact to our L Brands family.'
The associates staying with the business through January will be offered retention bonuses.
The company estimates that Henri Bendel 2018 revenues and operating loss, excluding closing costs, will be approximately $85 million and $45 million, respectively.
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