What will happen to the masses of designer garments and accessories currently housed in the remaining five Barneys New York flagships in light of the sale of the department store chain last week? In the immediate wake of a $271 deal, which will see Authentic Brands and B. Riley Financial close the nearly 100-year old retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores – and its existing business in its entirety – in favor of a licensing arrangement with Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co., liquidation is expected to begin … potentially as early as this week.
According to a release issued on Friday, in an effort to do away with the inventory held in Barneys’ New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and Boston outposts, as well as its Barneys Warehouse locations, retail liquidation companies Great American Group (a subsidiary of B. Riley) and Tiger Capital Group revealed that they will “quickly sell through all inventory during the upcoming holiday season,” in sales at Barneys’ stores and ones that will take place online.
As reported by CNBC, the release asserted that the sale of “merchandise from the world’s top designers … including luxury clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and gifts for the home … will offer exceptional savings.” Not exactly the free-for-all for Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Gucci, Prada and Chanel goods that consumers may have been expecting,the liquidation process will begin with “private sales” for Barneys’ “most loyal” customers, and will proceed from there.
The swift start to liquidation comes just days after a bankruptcy court approved the sale of Barneys’ assets to Authentic Brands and B. Riley Financial on Thursday, with the deal closing a day later.
While Authentic Brands and B. Riley are planning to close the bulk of the famed retailer’s five remaining flagship stores, they revealed that they will keep its Madison Avenue, New York outpost open for a year “while the buyer of the luxury retailer negotiates with the store’s landlord.” For the duration of that year, the Madison Avenue location will serve as a pop-up shop of sorts, according to Authentic Brands and B. Riley.
As for the trademark-protected Barneys name and its other intellectual property, the new owners “plan to license the Barneys brand to Hudson’s Bay co-owned Saks Fifth Avenue, [which] will open shops in Saks locations across the United States and Canada,” according to CNBC. “That will start with an attempted Barneys reboot on the fifth floor of the Saks Fifth Avenue location in Manhattan.”
Barneys filed for bankruptcy this summer, pointing to soaring rents and its inability to find a buyer in order to ideally avoid liquidation. The filing marked the second time that the retailer, which listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million, has landed in bankruptcy court to date with its first filing came in 1996, after a squabble with its Japanese owner, department store company Isetan.