Geraldine Stutz, the president of Henri Bendel from 1957 to 1986, is responsible for many of the famed department store’s iconic traits, but perhaps what she is best known for is establishing the Street of Shops.
The concept behind Street of Shops is to set-up products from a variety of categories – including stockings, tabletop items, stationery, flowers and cosmetics – in small side-by-side boutiques. Stutz’s concept is now coming back, but instead of clustering the shops together they will be popping-up throughout the store.
A Street of Shops logo – a crosswalk in Bendel’s signature brown and white colors – was developed and has been placed at various points throughout the store to let customers know that a featured Street product has a limited run of one week to one month.
Ed Bucciarelli, Henri Bendel’s president and chief executive officer, stated that he was thinking about the current economy and ways for the retailer to create more of an emotional connection with customers.
"The concept was meant to only be featured on the department store’s main floor, but the 150-square-foot window shops, previously used for window displays, became a launch pad for other areas of the store. We have great productivity with higher sales in a smaller space,” he said.
“Some products are very planned out and others are spur-of-the-moment. Some are very trend-driven. For example, Carrera, a hot vintage sunglass brand that’s been revived. Paris Hilton bought eight pairs of Carrera frames over the weekend.”