NEW YORK — Oh, the glories of retail.

Last Thursday night, die-hard fans of the BBC’s classic series "Are You Being Served?" turned up at Henri Bendel to meet the infamous Mollie Sugden who played Mrs. Slocombe on the show.

Sugden sat primly on a love seat graciously receiving guests and regaling them with tales of her years playing a saleswoman at the aging department store Grace Brothers. Eyeing the plush surroundings of Bendel’s, Sugden said, "This is lovely, certainly much more upmarket than Grace’s."

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served on the second floor of the store inTiffany Dubin’s Lair as well as the newly opened in-store shop Agent Provocateur. The fete was thrown in part to celebrate the launch of the series’ new DVD, as well as its 30th anniversary.

Despite the passage of time, Sugden remains as witty as ever. "It’s delightful here. Unfortunately, I’ve come to New York 40 years too late," she said. "It’s so exciting, but so tiring."

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