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Does Orange County really have the cultural cache it needs to get a Henri Bendel before LA does? Is that what bringing the world No Doubt, The OC, and, uh?whatever else, does for you?
One thing's for sure: They need the purse and accessory boutique a lot more than Los Angeles does. As we walked through South Coast Plaza on our way to the grand opening, we noticed that everyone was basically carrying one of the same three bags: a Louis Vuitton in either monogram or checkerboard, or a brown Coach job.
All in all, nothing really surprising to report. The store itself is on the smallish side: 2,000 square feet. It's pretty and filled with everything you expect: brightly colored purses, small leather items, candies, fragrances and jewelry. It's also filled with something you didn't expect: pushy salespeople who may, in fact, be robots. They outnumbered customers by about three to one, and they were like white on rice. Every few steps, a new one would intercept us and give the grand opening shpiel in an even, monotone voice. Sure, they were just being helpful, but hearing the speech once, instead of 10 times, would have been plenty.
But lots of cuteness!
You can probably wait until November 15, which is when officials at the Beverly Center tell us our Henri Bendel will open.
· Henri Bendel [Official Site]