The New York-based specialty store is attempting its second retail rollout. In the last two months, Bendel has planted accessories-based stores in Columbus, Ohio; San Diego, and Boca Raton, Fla. Its fifth and final location, at least for now, opens next week in Aventura, Fla. The stores will have a similar look to the original Fifth Avenue location, where whimsical, festive product is displayed among brown pin-striped walls.
Bendel’s first ventured out in 1996 when the store unveiled a plan for a 50-unit, $500 million chain. But due to poor performance, owner Limited Brands Inc. pulled the plug on the deal two years later, closing five of the store’s then six locations, leaving New York to stand-alone.
But this time is different, contended Bendel’s executives. Instead of re-creating smaller versions of the New York store across the country — complete with apparel, intimates and cosmetics counters — the new Bendel’s outposts are accessories-based and offer Bendel’s branded product exclusively.
“We’ve always been famous for accessories in our store and a little over one year ago we started testing Bendel’s branded accessories in the store and got a great response,” said Ed Bucciarelli, president and chief executive officer of Henri Bendel. “So we thought, what if we tested the concept outside of New York, would our customer still like it? A lot of our traffic is from the core New York girl, but also from tourists and international traffic. And what we learned by opening these stores is that the brand has great equity around it. It’s a big world out there.”
The new accessories stores will offer Bendel’s branded handbags, small leather goods, luggage and jewelry, as well as scarves, gloves and belts. Bucciarelli noted he wanted to “stretch the boundaries” of how the brand defines accessories to also include gifting items, such as iPod docking stations, tea sets, candles and a small sampling of personal care items ranging from perfume to personalized cosmetics.
“We’re focused on selling things that have great emotional content because our brand has great emotional content,” he said.
Buchiarelli declined to specify his financial expectations for the stores, saying only that the units are “hitting their plans,” but he was quick to note the four new stores are not the first on a long list of locations slated for the future, but simply testing sites to gauge the plan’s success.
“We’re excited but it’s important to punctuate that it is a test concept and we are using these stores to learn about our capabilities in doing brand-focused accessories and gifting pieces,” said Bucciarelli, who wouldn’t say whether this could lead to other locations. “We have no grand plan, no roll-out initiatives.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty