L Brands to close all Henri Bendel stores, website

Victoria's Secret owner L Brands Inc on Thursday said it would close all 23 of its Henri Bendel stores and the Henri Bendel e-commerce website in January.

Fall 2018 campaign - Henri Bendel

The Columbus, Ohio-based company said the stores to close will include Henri Bendel's Fifth Avenue store as well as smaller-format stores in 11 states. 

L Brands cut its full-year earnings forecast in August, blaming falling demand for its PINK line of lingerie amid competition from brands such as American Eagle Outfitter's Aerie.

The company expects Henri Bendel, which sells women's handbags, jewellery and luxury fashion accessories, to bring in revenue of about $85 million (64.84 million pounds) for 2018.

"We are committed to improving performance in the business and increasing shareholder value. As part of that effort, 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."

It did not provide any details on costs related to the closing of the business.

The Henri Bendel stores and the website will remain in operation through January 2019, it said.

Henri Bendel, which opened its first store in 1895 in New York's Greenwich Village, was bought by L Brands in 1985.

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