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Farewell to Henri Bendel at Lenox Square

After nearly a decade in metro Atlanta, Henri Bendel will be closing its doors at Lenox Square.

On Thursday, parent company L Brands, LLC, announced the January 2019 closing of all 23 Henri Bendel stores and the Henri Bendel e-commerce website. That includes the Fifth Avenue Flagship in New York as well as the smaller mall-based stores across 11 states.

The stores will remain open through January 2019 but will close after the holiday shopping season. L Brands also owns brands including Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. In a statement, chairman and CEO Leslie Wexner said the decision to stop operating Bendel was made to improve company profitability and focus on larger brands that have greater growth potential

Henri Bendel, a milliner from Louisiana, opened his namesake store in 1895 in New York City. The brand’s brown and white stripes became a symbol of high-style among the city’s trendy and elite. Bendel was credited with bringing Coco Chanel’s Parisian style to the U.S. as well as discovering and launching other new designers. 

In 1985, Limited Brands (now L Brands, LLC) purchased Henri Bendel and learned that expanding to new markets would mean developing a new store concept.

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>> Read the AJC’s 2011 story about the opening of Henri Bendel at Lenox Square: Henri Bendel makes debut in Atlanta

In 2005, the company began rolling out its own line of Henri Bendel goods including jewelry, handbags and more. The Lenox Square boutique was one of eight smaller concept stores to open in 2011. 

At the opening, then company president Chris Fiore said he was surprised that local customers knew the brand so well. They were scooping up favorite Bendel branded puppy products such as the $295 brown-and-white-striped puppy totes and $98 Swarovski-embellished dog brushes.

“We serve the fashionable woman and we serve her with newness and sophistication,” Fiore said in a 2011 interview with the AJC. “We are in Atlanta because we know she is there.”

About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.

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