Shop Talk

Galleria shakeup: Henri Bendel heads to Houston as Christian Dior exits and Louis Vuitton expands

Galleria shakeup: Henri Bendel heads to Houston as Christian Dior exits and Louis Vuitton expands

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Henri Bendel is aiming for a June 22 opening at The Galleria. Courtesy of The Galleria
News_Galleria_new stores_May 2012_Louis Vuitton
While Louis Vuitton is expanding, the women's department will temporarily locate to the former Dior location. Courtesy of The Galleria
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The Galleria's newest store: Porsche Design Courtesy of The Galleria
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News_Galleria_new stores_May 2012_Louis Vuitton
News_Galleria_new stores_May 2012_Porsche Design

Houston seems to be a Louis Vuitton-kind of town. But not so much Dior.

The French luxury retailer Vuitton, known for distinctive luggage and handbags as well as womenswear designed by Marc Jacobs, is doubling the space in its Galleria location, including a VIP salon and an entrance from Westheimer. The expansion is expected to start soon and last into the new year. During construction, the Vuitton women's department will relocate to the former space occupied by Christian Dior and the men's department will move into a space behind Kate Spade.

 Henri Bendel will feature an archway modeled after the legendary Fifth Avenue flagship store, custom-made chandeliers and the iconic brown and white stripe on walls, shopping bags and hat boxes.  

The Dior store, which opened in The Galleria with a big splash in 2004, recently closed without much fanfare. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the parent company of both designer labels along with Fendi, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Bulgari and De Beers among others, did not immediately return a request for comment.

A Houston retail source, who asked not to be identified, said the Louis Vuitton store generates much more traffic and sales than Dior, so the move could be a strategic decision by LVMH to concentrate on the brand with more potential.

Noted New York luxury retailer Henri Bendel is also headed to The Galleria. The new store, in a space previously occupied by Jessica McClintock (which has also closed its Houston store), will feature an archway modeled after the legendary Fifth Avenue flagship store, custom-made chandeliers and the iconic brown and white stripe on walls, shopping bags and hat boxes. The store will feature handbags, jewelry and gifts.

Other new Galleria stores include Porsche Design, featuring classic men's sunglasses, watches, luggage and accessories; Sperry, featuring the famous Top-Sider boat shoes; and Robert Graham, the second national store for the maker of distinctive menswear.

Tommy Bahama plans to open a second Houston-area store in the Galleria on June 16, with a celebration featuring live music, refreshments, gifts with purchase and drawing for $100 gift cards from noon to 4 p.m. The retailer, which specializes in luxury lifestyle clothing and accessories, operates a popular clothing store/restaurant in The Woodlands.