Barneys finally has a new owner. The iconic New York retailer was sold to Authentic Brands, after the NYC-based management company bid $271.4 million to buy it out, the New York Times reports. Despite the sale, which was finalized on Friday afternoon, the Barneys that New Yorkers have come to know since it opened its doors in 1923 is no more.
Instead, Authentic Brands plans on licensing the Barney’s name to its longtime rival, Saks Fifth Avenue, while selling off the remaining merchandise at a discount in all seven of its current outposts, as well as the outposts themselves. Unfortunately, that means that as many as 2000 Barney’s employees could be out of a job when all is said and done.
The sale comes after Barney’s filed for bankruptcy in August, a move that might have come as a shock to casual observers of the fashion world. For decades, Barney’s represented New York shopping prestige, thanks in large part to its flagship location on Madison avenue. But the company was simply unable to adapt to the rise of e-commerce and rising rent costs.
Prior to its sale to Authentic Brands, Kith backer Sam Ben-Avraham launched a campaign last month with the hopes of saving Barneys. After the campaign failed to gain traction, Ben-Avraham announced that he would not be submitting a bid. “Dear Family, Last night after two months of working around the clock, my team and I had to make the hardest decision we could have imagined: to pull out of the race and not go to court this morning," he wrote on Instagram. "Unfortunately, we failed to convince enough people in the business community that it made economic sense to keep Barneys alive. Some unexpected road blocks were put in our way. [...] I apologize if I have failed anyone, and gave anyone false hope by not being able to close the deal.
Authentic Brands meanwhile, has announced a mega-sale for the brand’s loyal customers. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for its most loyal customers to buy items that rarely go on sale at markdown prices,” it said in a statement. “We encourage shoppers to visit their nearest Barneys before this highly exclusive merchandise sells out.”