Barneys New York has reached an agreement to sell its assets to Authentic Brands Group and investment bank B. Riley Financial for $271.4 million in cash. Alternative bids will still be accepted until October 24 but the chances of a higher bid are becoming increasingly less likely.
If Authentic Brands Group, which owns Juicy Couture and Aéropostale, wins the bid it would close all Barneys locations and use the iconic name for licensing. Saks Fifth Avenue said it is interested in using the Barneys brand as a store-within-store concept. (This idea seems absolutely ridiculous, especially on the heels of the failure of Gilt shops at Saks Off-5th stores.)
Good-bye Freds. Good-bye iconic New York shopping destination.
Barneys troubles started when the landlord of Madison Avenue store nearly doubled the annual rent to $27.9 million. It’s speculated that the real estate owner would prefer to use the property as condos and a hotel than maintain the spot as a retail destination.
Some news articles site that a buyer for Barney’s remaining inventory has already been lined up. If you scroll the Barneys website and Barneys Warehouse outlet, you will see lots of discounted things to buy. We linked to some key items above.
In the meantime, we will keep our fingers crossed that a new buyer emerges and revives that Barneys tradition in pushing the boundaries of retail innovation. “Barneys till I’m dead.”