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The Business of Fashion on Instagram

The Business of Fashion on Instagram

An essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs all over the world.

What pushed #Barneys New York to the edge? For the past few weeks, one of America s most important sellers of high-end fashion, has been the talk of the industry   for all the wrong reasons. In July, Reuters reported that the luxury department store chain was exploring bankruptcy after a steep rent increase at its #MadisonAvenue flagship, which pushed monthly rates to 27.9 million, up 72 percent from 16.2 million.  I want to emphasise that this is an ongoing process and no decisions have been made,  Barneys Chief Executive Daniella Vitale wrote in a recent email to staff, which was seen by BoF.  Our business is operating normally and we are continuing to serve our customers and work with our business partners as usual,  she added.  But  business as usual  it wasn t at Barneys earlier this week, when the vendor that manages  maintenance, cleaning crews and housekeeping  for the Madison Avenue store suspended its work with the retailer, which owed it more than 500,000, according to an email viewed by BoF. As of Monday, several of the store s bathrooms were closed.

Barneys  financial woes, combined with increased competition from multi-brand e-commerce sites and fundamental changes in the way people buy clothes   including the rise of direct-to-consumer retail and the blossoming of the second-hand luxury market   has meant that the retailer is perhaps no longer in a position to take as big of bets on emerging labels, the thing that long set it apart from competitors. Instead of owning cool, Barneys began chasing it, much to the detriment of the store and many of the smaller labels whose brands and businesses it once cultivated.

However, even if Barneys is indeed making the right bet on physical retail, finding a buyer willing to invest further may be more challenging than ever. And with the future of retail in flux, there s no guarantee that Barneys will survive. Like many other great American fashion stores that have come before it, from Charivari to Henri Bendel to Marshall Fields, it's time may simply have passed. It will be up to Barneys   and an enthusiastic new buyer   to prove that notion wrong. [Link in bio]  : @gettyimages
What pushed #Barneys New York to the edge? For the past few weeks, one of America s most important sellers of high-end fashion, has been the talk of the industry for all the wrong reasons. In July, Reuters reported that the luxury department store chain was exploring bankruptcy after a steep rent increase at its #MadisonAvenue flagship, which pushed monthly rates to 27.9 million, up 72 percent from 16.2 million. I want to emphasise that this is an ongoing process and no decisions have been made, Barneys Chief Executive Daniella Vitale wrote in a recent email to staff, which was seen by BoF. Our business is operating normally and we are continuing to serve our customers and work with our business partners as usual, she added. But business as usual it wasn t at Barneys earlier this week, when the vendor that manages maintenance, cleaning crews and housekeeping for the Madison Avenue store suspended its work with the retailer, which owed it more than 500,000, according to an email viewed by BoF. As of Monday, several of the store s bathrooms were closed. Barneys financial woes, combined with increased competition from multi-brand e-commerce sites and fundamental changes in the way people buy clothes including the rise of direct-to-consumer retail and the blossoming of the second-hand luxury market has meant that the retailer is perhaps no longer in a position to take as big of bets on emerging labels, the thing that long set it apart from competitors. Instead of owning cool, Barneys began chasing it, much to the detriment of the store and many of the smaller labels whose brands and businesses it once cultivated. However, even if Barneys is indeed making the right bet on physical retail, finding a buyer willing to invest further may be more challenging than ever. And with the future of retail in flux, there s no guarantee that Barneys will survive. Like many other great American fashion stores that have come before it, from Charivari to Henri Bendel to Marshall Fields, it's time may simply have passed. It will be up to Barneys and an enthusiastic new buyer to prove that notion wrong. [Link in bio] : @gettyimages

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