The sale of Barneys New York was finalized in U.S. bankruptcy court yesterday in a move that will likely result in the closure of its stores and a fire sale. Some retail experts predict this could trigger a freak out in the high-end fashion market.
Authentic Brands Group (they own Juicy Couture, Nautica and others) won ownership of Barneys in August with a $271 million bid after the retailer filed for chapter 11 protection. The most interested savior, Sam Ben-Avraham (co-founder of the streetwear brand Kith) announced he was out.
As part of his bid attempt, Ben-Avraham had launched a campaign called Save Barneys NY. The city, he said, was
“at risk of losing a cultural institution that has been an anchor point for the city for almost a century.”
On Friday morning, the NY Post reported that CEO Daniella Vitale stepped down in the wake of the finalized sale of the store.
According to both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to hold liquidation sales of its merchandise. While the WSJ cited a source who said the sales could begin as early as Friday.
Authentic Brands is reportedly planning to license the Barneys name to Saks Fifth Avenue, which may then create Barneys departments or shops within its stores.
Barneys currently has seven stores across in the country, and an estimated 2,000 employees. It currently has two New York City locations, one in Chelsea and its Madison Avenue flagship.
Arleen, 69, said she had been shopping at the store since it first opened.
“I’m shocked and somewhat hysterical. It’s my favorite store. It’s edgy. No other store has this focus.”
Around noon, Barneys posted a photo on its Instagram account of its iconic bag and a message that said “Sincerely, Barneys New York.”
It was later taken down and replaced with an image that reads
“Barneys New York Forever.”
I was a Barneys shopper in the 80s and 90s and had a charge card that was usually pretty maxed out. I’ll miss it but honestly, except for looking at their holiday windows, I hadn’t even set foot in the uptown store in years. And the reopened downtown branch did not appeal to me much anymore. As Dylan prophetically sang,
“The times they are a changin’…”