Barneys To Liquidate Assets Before Rebranding

Published on November 2, 2019

Barneys has long been a symbol of the high end shopping experience in America. For designer brands that carry little inventory but offer straight from the runway looks, the high end retailer has served as a gateway to consumers for decades. The longstanding retail apocalypse has already taken dozens of name brand stores that once ruled the brick and mortar market. Today Barney’s joined the list as it was sold to a licensing firm called Authentic Brands Group. The company, which also owns Saks Fifth Avenue, plans to take the company into a new era starting in 2020.

Barneys announced that it was considering bankruptcy earlier this year, officially filing for bankruptcy protection in the late summer. On Friday it was announced that Authentic Brands Group purchased the company for $271 million, revealing its immediate plans for liquidation of the retailers inventory in the coming weeks. If you have ever dreamed of snagging a YSL purse for mere pennies (comparatively), now is your chance. You’ll just have to fend off the thousands of other desperate shoppers that will likely flood into the Barneys liquidation sales in the next couple of months. Holiday shopping can be dreadful, but never so much as a liquidation sale just before Thanksgiving at one of America’s most prestigious luxury retailers.

Barneys To Become A Boutique

Consumers can expect Barneys to begin slashing prices as soon as mid-November. The company’s flagship Madison Avenue store will shut down once and for all in February of 2020. Later, in the spring, Authentic Brands Group will open Barneys “pop up” inspired shops within Saks Fifth Avenue locations around the world. The skyrocketing rent prices on Madison Avenue are, in part, what fueled the decision to close the businesses doors. Authentic Brands Group will, however, continue to run the iconic Fred’s Restaurant that operates out of the top floor of the building.

The upcoming plans to maintain the Barneys brand may actually help it continue its legacy, though in a different way. The company, which once competed heavily with Saks Fifth Avenue, now calls the brand its ally as Authentic Brands Group gears up to open Barneys “boutiques” within several Saks stores around the world. Other Barneys locations, like the Boston location, will simply be turned into a Saks Fifth Avenue store.

For now, the empty Madison Avenue location is planned to become a usable venue for art installments and other events not related to the Barneys brand.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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