Recently it was announced that 123 year old Henri Bendel would be closing its stores. Many have called it a casualty of the retail apocalypse because like other brands (think Lord & Taylor) are either going our of business or have gone out of business. Many analysts feel that the rise of Amazon and e-commerce has created an environment where traditional brick and mortar companies no longer have the staying power they used to.
The Retail Apocalypse Continues: L Brands to Close All Henri Bendel Stores– http://amp.timeinc.net/fortune/2018/09/14/l-brands-close-henri-bendel-stores
I wouldn’t call it a “retail apocalypse” per se. But I will say that being acquired by M&A and PE firms isn’t always the best play. Yes, it’ll give a capital injection to the owner and a comfortable exit. But most of these firms end up killing companies. Vulture capital comes to mind.
Someone argued that Henri Bendel is no longer relevant. I remember it being only available in NYC and Beverly Hills. When they were acquired in 1985 the brand was expanded to 11 other markets. Brand dilution! This wasn’t some 3 year old company.
We can debate relevance all day long. But companies have loyal followers that will stay with them forever. Being from NYC there are a number of stores that were exclusive to NYC, but when they started expanding into new markets, they lost that exclusivity & ultimately folded. I’m all for expansion, but when control remains with the owners. Smart expansion, strategic growth…not M&A or PE greed.
In any case, sorry to see it shut down. What are your thoughts?
Til next time,
Founder, Mogul Chix, LLC