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New York institution Henri Bendel will soon be undergoing some drastic changes. As first reported by WWD, and then discussed today in the Times, the luxury department store is losing one of its departments: clothing. Soon, Bendels will only sell makeup, accessories and gifty items packaged in the company's iconic brown and white stripes.
The store will also be downsizing its selling floor space. WWD: "The Fifth Avenue flagship will be reduced in size from three to two selling floors, offering accessories, handbags, jewelry, gifts, beauty and fragrance from both third-party vendors and private label. Women’s apparel will be out of the picture, but Frédérick Fekkai will remain on the fourth floor. The fate of the Chocolate Bar on the third floor has not been decided." With this and the Gossip Girl franchise tie-in, the new Bendels sounds like a tourists' paradise.
· Henri Bendel Plans to Stop Selling Clothes This Summer [NYT]
· Bendel's Focuses on New Strategy [WWD, subscription req]
· Limited Brands To Drain Every Last Bit Of Prestige From Henri Bendel [Shophound]