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Henri Bendel plans store at Walt Whitman

A Henri Bendel storefront in Manhattan; the chain

A Henri Bendel storefront in Manhattan; the chain is set to open a store at Huntington Station’s Walt Whitman Shops. (Nov. 23, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Luxury retailer Henri Bendel will make its Long Island debut in June at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station.

The upscale chain that specializes in accessories, cosmetics and gifts, known for its signature brown and white striped shopping bags, plans to open a 2,000-square-foot store, one of the mall's new additions as it undergoes a 72,000-square-foot expansion and renovation.

"The North Shore, middle-Island customer there in that pocket of Long Island is a very desirable customer," said Chris Fiore, president of Henri Bendel. "Why? Because she is a sophisticated shopper. She has good taste. She doesn't mind spending a couple of bucks on herself, and she knows the New York retail scene."

Fiore said the new store is part of the company's expansion program. Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. is making "substantial" investments in its Long Island malls, including upgrading Walt Whitman's property and tenant mix, he said.

About 40,000 square feet will be added to the mall's first floor and about 30,000 square feet to its second floor. Ten to 12 new stores, including restaurants, will be added. Henri Bendel, which is owned by Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands Inc., will be on the first floor, across from Saks Fifth Avenue.

"We're on an expansion program, so we want to go in the best centers in North America," Fiore said.

Simon's Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City is also about to undergo a more than $200 million renovation and expansion, adding Long Island's first Neiman Marcus and several upscale casual restaurants.

Roosevelt Field is also an attractive location for Henri Bendel, Fiore said. "I would certainly hope to be in Roosevelt Field within a reasonable amount of time," he said.

With Anne Bratskeir

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