New York’s Lost Department Stores

New York Times Article 1/16/19

Whether or not you shopped there, you should be sorry to see Henri Bendel and Lord & Taylor’s flagship go.

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The “street of shops” at Henri Bendel in 1981.CreditCreditEdward Hausner/The New York Times

 

On Saturday, Henri Bendel, the department store whose brown and white stripes once defined the concept of the boutique as a carnival of gewgaws and glamour, will shut its doors for the last time. It has been a slow farewell, 24 stores blinking out like fireflies since the start of the year, culminating with the shuttering of the New York flagship this week. (The website will stay open until Jan. 28.)

It comes two weeks after Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue held its last fire sale, leaving its echoing Italian Renaissance halls empty in order to make way for a new tenant. (Other Lord & Taylor stores, as well as its website, remain open.)

Both events were signaled last fall (though at first Lord & Taylor said it was simply downsizing and would keep a presence on the ground floor of its famous building). As a result, locking the actual door was almost an afterthought. Most of us have already done our mourning and bemoaning, our breast-beating about the digital future.

 

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