Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is Henri Bendel Owned By Young Mr. Grace?

I considered writing a long rant in which I'd question the genius business minds behind Henri Bendel, and their decision to keep their online presence to an absolute minimum. Yes, there's a web site, but you can only buy the store brand signature items. If you desire a striped makeup bag you're in luck. If you want to buy Secretion Magnifique, not so much.

But then, why bother?

Here's the link, see for yourself how one of the top department stores in NYC (and the US) operates its web business in 2008:

Yes, there is a concierge service, which I'm guessing means you can order by phone, but the website doesn't even list what exactly you can buy there.

Are you being served?

Original store image from Henri Bendel site. Botched photoshopping: Mine. Harold Bennett as Young Mr. Grace from somewhere on the net.


  1. OMIGOD this bugs the living CRAP out of me! Good lord, it's 2008! I mean, you're Bendels for Pete's sake!

  2. Tom- My thoughts, exactly. It's like a relic from the last century.

  3. I used to love Bendels, but the last two times I went to their Merino Wool sales, I was very disappointed with the qulaity and the way (messy)the store appeared (2001 and 2006). The whole place/website doesn't do much for me.

  4. Gail- A messy Bendel? That's awful. Maybe they really are turning into Grace Brothers.

  5. The last time I went there, I bought a golden turd! technically it was a gold dust covered organic chocolate twinkee, but still!

    At least a few years ago, they were owned by Victoria's Secret and my guess is that they are probably trying to figure out how best to go online without diluting the brand. At this rate they should just make the golden turd their new logo, and do everything through etsy.

  6. The O- I'm still laughing at the golden turd. They're still owned by The Limited, the parent company of Victoria's. Bendel is definitely supposed to be the jewel in their crown, which is why I don't get this ridiculous web site. All I wanted was to buy a couple of the ELdO scents without having to deal with Midtown traffic and parking.

  7. I think I'm actually cackling I'm laughing so hard. You crack me up. I agree; I too have wondered, "What the heck?" when trying to get info and product news on the HB site. It's such a shame, too, cuz it has such potential with those stylish, artistic sketches. It's like handing them money only to be met with, "Uh ... no thanks". Hire some new web marketers over there, fellas.

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