Henri Bendel to close Fifth Avenue flagship Thursday

NEW YORK — Luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing its iconic Fifth Avenue flagship Thursday.

L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said last year that all 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The Columbus, Ohio, company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential. Bendel's website will also be shuttered at the end of the month.

Henri Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol.

It was the first retailer to sell Coco Chanel in the U.S. In the 1960s, its in-house illustrator was a young artist named Andy Warhol.

The company’s flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue is a landmark in Manhattan. The iconic shop was set to close on Saturday along with the remaining boutiques that are still open nationwide, but earlier this week management decided the store's last day would be Jan. 17.

Video produced by Summer Delaney.

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