American Marketer


Henri Bendel kicks-off holiday season with first Fifth Avenue window unveiling

November 10, 2011


New York-based department store Henri Bendel is creating an event around the unveiling of its holiday window display tonight with special performances and a charitable effort aimed to drive end-of-year sales.

The retailer has invited consumers to catch a first glance at its holiday windows at its Fifth Avenue location with the promise of celebrity guests and Champagne. Bendel was the first New York retailer to display its windows last year and is continuing that trend this year.

“A luxury retailer like Bendel would want to make an event out of its holiday windows because they are the image of their establishment,” said Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc., New York. “Last year, they were the first big uptown store to reveal their windows the public [and] to get started on the holiday spirit.

“Most retailers base their entire year on the success of the holiday season, so if Bendel's can attract some major attention from their windows, it could make a major difference on their end-of-year [sales],” she said.

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Bendel, but agreed to comment as a third-party expert.

Bendel did not respond by press deadline.

Kick line-up
Bendel's holiday windows this year are inspired by the Radio Christmas City Spectacular.

In light of that, Bendel will host a special, exclusive performance by the New York City Rockettes in its store tonight.

The performance will take place somewhere between 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Additionally, the retailer will be handing out Champagne to guests and encouraging them to shop to help benefit the Finca Lend a Hand organization.

Finca’s Lend a Hand campaign raises money to provide small loans to people worldwide to give them a chance to invest in and build their own small businesses and increase their income-earning capacity.

Throughout the night, 10 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the charity.

The evening is being hosted by actress Lake Bell.

Spreading the cheer
Bendel’s sent out an email invitation to its newsletter subscribers on Monday, Nov. 7 to let them know about the event.

In addition, the retailer posted the invitation on its Facebook page.

Bendel is also hosting a contest on its Facebook page with a grand prize that consists of a pair of tickets to the 2012 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a pair of passes to tour Radio City Music Hall and a meet-and-greet with a Rockette, dinner for two, a two-night hotel stay in New York, roundtrip airfare to New York and a $1,000 Bendel gift card.

To enter, consumers must "like" the branded Facebook page and fill out an entry form with their contact information.

In addition to the windows, Bendel is getting into the holiday spirit with its themed catalog and gifting sections on its Web site, which it has also been pushing via email and social media.

The catalog is available online at

In-store events can likely attract consumers and drive brand loyalty since affluent shoppers enjoy VIP treatment and being in a tactile environment while shopping for luxury goods.

“This type of event will definitely attract Bendel's customers and also creates consumer loyalty by creating lifestyle events that cater to their clientele,” Ms. Strum said.

“In-store events are definitely a good opportunity to drive sales because consumers have the tendency to become more impulsive when they are in the shopping atmosphere,” she said.

Final Take

Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York