Barney’s Has Filed For Bankruptcy

August 6, 2019 / Posted by:

The iconic rich person clothing store, Barney’s, is filing for bankruptcy. That means that famous and famou-ish label whores everywhere, like EJ Johnson looking elegant as an army base go-go dancer, are frantically posing in front of the mirror with a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping bag to see how they look, because everything has changed now that there’s a chance they’ll no longer be papped carrying a black Barney’s shopping bag on the stroll.

According to CNN:

Barneys, an icon of America’s luxury clothing world for decades, has filed for bankruptcy.

The New York-based retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Tuesday morning. It said in a statement that it had also secured $75 million from affiliates of Hilco Global and the Gordon Brothers Group to help meet its financial commitments.

“Like many in our industry, Barneys New York’s financial position has been dramatically impacted by the challenging retail environment and rent structures that are excessively high relative to market demand,” Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale said in a statement.

Retail stores are suffering from lost foot traffic due to online shopping. Which is a shame. How are people suppose to have their Pretty Woman slut-shamming revenge fantasy moment with an online store? And as much as I would like to make fun of a clothing store that sells overpriced charlatan Tracy Anderson workout gear, Barney’s employs full-time salespeople and have a union, which rarely happens in retail today. 

The 96-year old company has 2,300 employees. Unlike other retailers that rely on part-time workers, 90% of Barneys’ workforce is full time. Nearly half of the hourly 1,900 hourly employees are represented by a union, also a rarity in modern retail.
Barneys was also dogged with problems that have toppled other traditional retailers. Primarily it could not afford rents on locations that lost foot traffic to online shopping. Bankruptcy court documents show the company owes nearly $10 million in unpaid rent to its major landlords.
Barney’s will try to keep its most prominent store locations open and ditch places like Las Vegas, which probably have a bigger market for vintage Ed Hardy and whatever clothing line The Situation creates when he’s out of prison.
Barneys says it will look for a buyer that will keep five of its flagship stores and two warehouse locations open — primarily those in high-income markets such as Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco and Beverly Hills. But it will close stores in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle, as well as a dozen other concept stores and warehouse locations.
The move was not unexpected. Reuters reported last month that filing for bankruptcy protection could help alleviate the pressure of expensive leases.
Also, according to Barney’s website the company began when Barney Pressman pawned his wife’s engagement ring to open the store. Ummm….weird flex but okay. My husband keeps talking about getting rid of cable and I’ve threatened to pawn my wedding ring if this happens. But that’s for a noble and worthy cause, opening a clothing store feels like a stretch.
The company traces its history to 1923, according to it’s website, when Barney Pressman pawned his wife’s engagement ring. The company indicated he used the funds to open a discount clothing store.
Let’s hope Barney’s can pull off some miracle and stay afloat. Maybe they could head over to the great people at Pawn Stars and see if they can take out another business loan?
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