Barneys New York. Courtesy
Barneys New York is finally returning to its hometown after the pandemic delayed its post-bankruptcy revival plans.
The retailer, which for decades was a mainstay of the city’s retail scene, opens Friday inside Saks Fifth Avenue’s Manhattan flagship under the name Barneys at Saks. It follows an 11-month absence from the city.
At 54,000 square feet, the Barneys store-within-a-store is about a fifth the size of its old location that was located several blocks to the north. That store closed in early 2020 after the retailer went bankrupt for the second time. Executives had hoped to inaugurate the project last September, but the pandemic created delays.
Merchandise will constantly change and feature selections by both emerging and established designers. On opening day, there are customised mini-shops from labels including Fear of God and Reese Cooper. It’s also offering VIP suites, style advisers and after-hours appointments.
The opening marks a new stage for the fallen retailer that had been a cultural icon in New York. Barneys, which liquidated its remaining merchandise last February, suffered a slow decline before eventually becoming a casualty of rising rents and department-store woes as shoppers shifted online.
Authentic Brands Group, which bought the brand and licensed it to Saks in North America, will open its first standalone Barneys at Saks location in Greenwich, Connecticut, on January 25. The 14,000-square-foot store will offer both men’s and women’s goods.
Fred’s, the Barneys restaurant, will also be revived in 2021, though the details haven’t yet been announced.
Authentic Brands is looking to expand Barneys abroad and plans to go into China and Korea over the next two years. It currently has six Barneys stores and five outlet shops in Japan.
By Kim Bhasin