May 5, 2009

News flash: How to make money in fashion retail?

Answer: By getting out of fashion retail! At least that's the shocking new plan at Henri Bendel, the innovative New York department store founded in 1895. The retailer is ditching its entire apparel section, which was known for helping young designers get their start, most recently through their open calls for unknown talent, and carried styles from such rising stars as Matthew Williamson and Jason Wu.

As it turns out, although fashion dominated Bendel's image as well as its floor space, clothing accounted for only 25% of sales. Instead, the new Bendel's will be pared down to its more lucrative beauty, accessories, and gifts departments, and smaller stores carrying only the house brand will open in  shopping malls around the US.


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