6. Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel was a New York City-based women’s accessories store specialized in handbags, jewelry, luxury fashion accessories, home fragrances, and gifts. The store was established by Henri Willis Bendel, who moved to New York from Louisiana in 1868 to work as a milliner. He went on to open his first store in 1895 in Greenwich Village. By 1907, the store began using its iconic brown-and-white-striped boxes for packaging, and in 1913, Bendel’s became the first retailer to sell Coco Chanel designs in the United States. Henri Bendel’s flagship location would eventually come to be located at 712 Fifth Avenue in the Rizzoli and City Buildings.

The store’s main floor plan was shifted in 1958 by company president Geraldine Stutz into a U-shaped “Street of Shops,” a design considered to be a precursor to the modern shop-in-shop merchandising displays. Beginning in 2008, the brand expanded beyond its New York store to become a national chain with 28 locations across the United States. In 2018, L Brands, who acquired Bendel’s in 1985, announced that all of the stores would be permanently closed to aid in efforts to improve the company’s profitability and give it room to focus on other brands like Victoria’s Secret. One of the most recent examples of New York’s lost department stores, Henri Bendel’s would close its doors for the final time on January 19, 2019.