Luxury retailer Barneys New York files for bankruptcy

Barneys New York is seeking bankruptcy protection and will close 15 of its 22 stores, it has confirmed.

The US luxury department store chain has put itself up for sale as it struggles with soaring rents and attempts to find a buyer.

Barneys New York said rent at its Manhattan flagship store had risen from $16m (£13m) to almost $30m (£24m) and that it was suffering from competition with online retailers.

The New York Times reported that there had been interest from a number of parties but one offer fell through due to a lack of time.

Barneys New York has, meanwhile, obtained $75m (£61m) to keep it afloat while it goes through bankruptcy court, Reuters reported.

Signage for Barneys New York hangs on the side of the store in Midtown Manhattan, July 15, 2019 in New York City. According to news reports, Barneys New York, an American chain of luxury department stores, is considering a bankruptcy filing, citing struggles with high rents and changing consumer tastes. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Image: Rent at the Manhattan flagship store has soared, Barneys said

In a statement, Barneys New York said that the shops to be closed are in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle, five small concept stores and seven Barneys Warehouse stores.

Five flagship locations are expected to stay open – two in New York (Madison Avenue and Downtown New York City), two in California (Beverly Hills and San Francisco), and a store in Boston.

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Two Barneys Warehouse locations and the company’s website will also continue operating.

Daniella Vitale, chief executive officer and president, said: “For more than 90 years, Barneys New York has been an iconic luxury specialty retailer, renowned for its edit, strong point of view, creativity and representation of the world’s best designers and brands.

“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 New York board and management team have taken decisive action by entering into a court-supervised process, which will provide the company the necessary tools to conduct a sale process, review our current leases and optimise our operations.”

Source: SKY NEWS

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