HOUSTON, TX – October 25, 2019–As the future of bankrupt Barneys continues to hang in the balance, the uncertainty tells a larger story about the downfall of luxury department stores.
Though Barneys has a tentative buyer – Authentic Brands Group is currently the lead bidder in a possible $271 million deal – the plan as it stands would call for the closure of its seven remaining brick-and-mortar stores. Potential efforts to preserve the Barneys brand would mean absorbing it into Saks Fifth Avenue stores, meaning the iconic New York department store would be no more.
According to Chief Outsider CMO Rich Smith, part of the issue for Barneys was it became a luxury “generalist." “[Barneys’ bankruptcy] bursts the theory that the high-end segment of retail would be immune to the trends of e-commerce,” Smith wrote. “As the theory went, high-end retailers like Barneys would continue to be a destination where people would come to experience the merchandise and would survive in populous, affluent markets. Where the theory breaks down is that Barneys is a high-end generalist, selling products from many different designer labels under one roof.”
Read the full article on Business Insider.
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