Barneys New York - company profile on Apparel Search

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August 6, 2019 Barneys filed for Chapter 11.  The luxury clothier is closing in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle. Twelve concept and warehouse locations will also close, and the company said Tuesday it was reviewing other store leases.  Stores on Madison Avenue store in New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and in Boston will remain open.

Following its sale in November 2019, Authentic Brands Group takes control of the Barneys brand name and license it to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Barneys at Saks

Barneys New York is a chain of upscale department stores headquartered in New York City. Merchandise selections come from a variety of designers including Giorgio Armani, Manolo Blahnik, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Jil Sander, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ermenegildo Zegna. Barneys branded merchandise compliments the designer collections. Barneys' signature look consists of bright red awnings and original window displays. The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1996, closed stores in Chelsea and several other locations across the US, and sold the department stores in Japan and Singapore. On December 20, 2004, the Pressman family sold its less than 2% remaining ownership to the Jones Apparel Group. Dubai-based private equity and alternative investment house Istithmar PJSC acquired Barneys New York from Jones Apparel Group Inc. on September 7, 2007. The initial offer for $825 million (Dh3.03 billion) was raised to $942.3 million.

The company began in 1923, when Barney Pressman opened his first store in Manhattan with the $500 raised by pawning his wife's engagement ring in order to lease a 500-square-foot retail space at Seventh Avenue and West 17th Street in Manhattan, which would become the original Barney's store, with 20 ft (6 m) of frontage and an awning identifying the store as "Barney's Clothes." The store was stocked with 40 brand name suits and a big sign with a slogan, "No Bunk, No Junk, No Imitations." Barney's was able to sell tailored clothing at discounted prices by purchasing showroom samples, retail overstocks, manufacturers' closeouts at auctions and bankruptcy sales. It also offered free alterations and free parking to attract customers. As business grew, eventually three floors above street level, starting in 1934, would be gradually added to the store.

Barney Pressman claimed to be the first Manhattan retailer to use radio and television, beginning with "Calling All Men to Barney's" radio spots in the 1930s that parodied the introduction of the Dick Tracy show. He sponsored radio programs featuring Irish tenors and bands playing jigs to advertise Irish woolens. Outside of broadcast media, he was more eccentric in promoting his store. Women encased in barrels gave away matchbooks with the store name and address. He even chartered a boat to take 2,000 of his customers from Manhattan to Coney Island.

For decades Barney's was known for cut-rate men's suits. By 1964, the store started to shed its discount image and went upscale. In a 1973 interview to Business Week, Fred Pressman became "convinced that the discount route definitely was not for us. My father and I have always hated cheap goods.... I didn't want to sell low-end merchandise. Now, many of those who chose to are verging on bankruptcy."

The original four-level store was expanded in 1970 when another story to the original store and a five-story addition was erected adjacent to the original store. The original store was renamed America House and the addition was named International House. The expanded store finally occupied the entire Seventh Avenue block where it began (between 16th and 17th streets), with 100,000 square feet (9,300 mē) of selling space and 20 individual shops.

International House, Fred Pressman promised, would feature complete collections of European designers, "from denim pants to $250 suits," not just a watered-down "potpourri of fabrics and models." The renovated America House, he said, would hold merchandise from "manufacturers who are in effect designers."

By 1973, the store was stocking 60,000 suits, 1,500 times the number when it first opened in the 500-square-foot (46 mē) leased space 50 years earlier. It carried the full lines of designers such as Bill Blass, Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy. It became the first clothing store in the U.S. to stock the full line of Giorgio Armani, after signing an exclusive agreement in 1976. The twice-a-year warehouse sale, which attracted enough customers to line up outside the store, took care of overstocked inventory.

Women's clothing was introduced in 1976, on the third floor of the International House, with fashions from more than 20 designer houses represented. The next year, the women's store relocated to The Penthouse, a new top-level enclosure. Barney's also added housewares, cosmetics, and gift departments to the store during this period.

The apostrophe in Barney's was dropped by 1979, and about 1981 the removal became official. (The removal of the apostrophe would be short lived--it was reinserted around the end of the decade.) In 1981 the women's penthouse became a duplex. 80% of the women's merchandise was imported, compared to 40% of the men's merchandise. After a delay two years, the $25 million, 70,000-square-foot (6,500 mē) women's store finally opened in 1986 in a row of six restored townhouses and two larger adjacent buildings across the store along 17th Street. The addition included a unisex beauty salon and restaurant, antiques, and accessories, gifts, and housewares boutiques. It accounted for about one-third of Barneys' sales of some $90 million the following year.

In 1988 Barneys opened a 10,000-square-foot men's store in the World Financial Center. Five years later, in 1993, the flagship moved to the current 230,000-square-foot, 9-story Manhattan flagship on Madison Avenue between East 60th and 61st streets. It was the largest new store in New York City since the Great Depression. The flagship is housed in a 22-story building with 14 floors of offices above the store. The exotic wood floors, a marble mosaic on the lobby floor, gold-leaf ceilings, and lacquered walls of the new Barney's flagship cost $267 million, according to one source. The Madison Avenue store did well in its posh locale when it opened despite stiff competition from other nearby luxury stores on Fifth Avenue at the expense of the downtown World Financial Center store.

August 6, 2019 Barneys filed for Chapter 11.

November 2019, Authentic Brands Group takes control of the Barneys brand name and license it to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Learn more about Barneys at

If you have not already seen The Window, you may want to learn more about The Window at Barneys New York.

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