Barneys New York Might Declare Bankruptcy — Again

Other retailers are suffering too, as 12,000 storefronts are on pace to close this year

Barney's New York
Luxury retailer Barney's New York mulls bankruptcy. (Drew Angerer/ Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / July 17, 2019 4:11 pm

Barneys New York might be the latest victim in the retail industry to succumb to bankruptcy. The luxury designer clothing store — purveyor of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent and the like — is suffering from exorbitantly high rents and a “shifting consumer landscape,” according to CBS News, and is now going over its options. With locations in “swankier districts” like New York and Beverly Hills, it’s no surprise that the store is likely cutting a huge check to its landlords each month; something its online competitors don’t have to worry about.

Barney’s Madison Avenue showcase in Manhattan, for instance, will soon pay $30 million in rent after losing an arbitration battle, CBS reported. That’s double what it used to be. The store’s rent alone nearly eliminates the $850 million it brought in last year.

The last time Barney’s declared bankruptcy was in 1996, just after the founding Pressman family sold off the last of its stake in the company. Since then, Barney’s has been sold and resold to different private equity investors, according to CBS. Other retailers in the industry are suffering as well, as 12,000 storefronts are on pace to close up shop this year, while only about 3,000 have opened. In all of these closures, CBS noted, over 53,000 people have lost their jobs so far in 2019.

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