Is there really a retail apocalypse happening?

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–
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,
Adrienne Graham
Founder, Mogul Chix, LLC

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Adrienne Graham is the Founder of Mogul Chix, LLC (, a global company and community for female founders and women entrepreneurs. She works with female-founded companies to grow, scale & making them investment ready. She is a CEO, investor, advisor, author and serial entrepreneur. She provides Strategic Business Growth advisory services to companies with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively scale, run, grow and position their business for success. Adrienne is an author, serial entrepreneur and avid techie dedicated to promoting inclusive diversity in the tech, VC and startup community. She is steadily building her empire one company at a time. She was a Mentor for the Straight Shot Accelerator in Omaha, NE, which helped guide startups into successfully launched ventures.
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