Barneys, an icon of New York for almost a century, has filed for bankruptcy this Tuesday. They are looking to find a buyer so they won’t have to resolve to liquidation.
Only five out of their ten stores – the ones on New York’s Madison Avenue, in downtown Manhattan, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and Copley Place – will be kept open.
This is the latest company which has fallen prey to the changes in consumer behavior, as more and more shoppers do their purchasing online. Another factor that has contributed to this is the high rent costs.
This marks the second time that Barneys has filed for bankruptcy. The first time was in 1996 when they had issues with their owner, the Japanese department store company Isetan. They narrowly avoided another bankruptcy in 2012, when they were acquired by Perry Capital, a hedge fund run and founded by famous New York financier Richard Perry, in a $540 million debt-for-equity swap.
Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale said: “The entire industry is in survival mode. The model is not working, it’s not working for Neiman [Marcus], it’s not working for Saks, it’s not working for us, it’s not working for Nordstrom.”
The company was founded way back in 1923 when Barney Pressman opened the eponymous men’s discount clothing store at Seventh Avenue and 17th Street. During the 1960s, his son Fred transitioned it to a luxury retailer. They soon made their mark on New York’s fashion, introducing designers such as Giorgio Armani and building their brand in NY menswear.