Barneys Files for Bankruptcy, Closes 15 Stores

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Luxury retailer Barneys is filing for bankruptcy and closing 15 stores, but will keep a number of doors in major markets open, including its flagship Madison Avenue location even though the rent nearly doubled.

Barneys joins a long list of retailers that seek bankruptcy protection and closing stores as more consumers shift to ecommerce.

CBS News reported that it will leave seven stores open including two Barneys Warehouse locations. The other stores remaining open are in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and Boston.

Barneys recently hired legal and financial advisors to help consider its options, according to CBS. The annual rent at its Madison Avenue location recently soared from $16 million to $30 million.

“Like many in your industry, Barneys New York’s financial position has been dramatically impacted by a challenging retail environment and rent structures that are excessively high relative to market demand,” said Daniella Vitale, CEO of Barneys in a statement to CBS News.

Barneys will close stores in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle as well as smaller stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations. The two Barneys Warehouse locations remaining open are in Woodbury Commons, NY and Livermore, CA.

MCM Musings: Consumers are increasingly choosing the convenience of ecommerce over walking into a physical store, and the luxury sector is no exception. Like everyone else they’re scrambling to figure out how to right-size their doors, better connect the physical and digital realms and enhance the overall customer experience. In general, many retailers are using omnichannel tactics like buy online pickup in store to drive traffic, while others are creating inventory-less showrooms and popups to cater to ever-fickle modern shoppers. But there will always be a place for high-end shops where you can touch, feel and try on that $4,000 Isaia sportcoat.