Henri Bendel is closing after 123 years in business

Retail stores are closing at an alarming rate
Retail stores are closing at an alarming rate

Henri Bendel is going out of business.

Parent company L Brands announced Thursday it's closing Bendel's website and all of its 23 stores, including the store's iconic Fifth Avenue location in New York, in January 2019 because of sluggish sales.

L Brands (LB) said in a statement that it's closing Bendel "to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential," which includes Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works.

Bendel makes up a small portion of L Brands' sales. Last year, the company reported revenue of $12.6 billion. The company said Bendel's 2018 sales were approximately $85 million, adding that it's in the process of estimating closing costs.

The upscale brand, best known for its designer purses and shoes, was founded in 1895 by Henri Bendel. In 1913, the brand became one of the first luxury retailers to open a flagship store with an "upper FIfth Avenue address," according to its website. L Brands acquired Bendel in 1985 and led its expansion into 11 states.

L Brands is having a difficult 2018 because of increased retail competition.

The stock is down 55% for the year, making it one of worst performing companies in the S&P 500 for the year.

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