Skip to main content

The Week Ahead: Barneys’ Reincarnation Under Authentic Brands Group

Barneys New York will transition its Manhattan presence to a fifth-floor shop-in-shop presence at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship on Fifth Avenue in the aftermath of its bankruptcy saga. Shoppers will encounter a much smaller–but still un-named–retail popup at Barneys’ former flagship location on Madison Ave. And as the luxury retailer closes out one aspect of its memorable retail history, other firms soldier on as the ebb and flow of retail’s earnings season begins a new quarterly cycle.

Barneys New York: Brand management firm Authentic Brands Group on Friday completed the purchase of the bankrupt retailer for $271.4 million. For Authentic Brands, the acquisition represents its entry into experiential luxury and entertainment, a vision that includes a global presence for Barneys, as well as shop-in-shops through a partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue, and even popup stores. There also even could be a new freestanding store in a key U.S. market down the road.

Authentic Brands is still evolving Barneys’ former flagship space at 61st and Madison. The plan is to bring together an “eclectic curation of boutiques, art and cultural installations and exhibits, and entertainment that fosters creativity and community.” The as-yet un-named pop-up concept will likely be a work-in-progress as Authentic Brands takes key learnings to evolve what it thinks experiential retail should be.

Next up will be a reboot of Barneys New York on the fifth floor of Saks Fifth Avenue’s Manhattan flagship on Fifth Avenue, likely early next year. But first the luxury retailer will hold exclusive private sale events for its most loyal customers, beginning on Monday. All stores, including the Madison Ave. flagship, will shutter after liquidation sales are completed. The sales are expected to be completed before the end of the holiday selling season, and owners of gift cards have until Nov. 7 to redeem them, per an order by a Manhattan bankruptcy court.

There’s also the opportunity to bring the Barneys’ concept overseas, where the bankrupt luxury chain already has 12 retail doors in Japan. The stores, operating under a licensing agreement, were not affected by the U.S. bankruptcy and will continue operating as usual.

Earnings: Companies reporting quarterly results next week include Under Armour Inc., Tapestry Inc., Capri Holdings Ltd. and Revolve Group Inc.