ABG completes acquisition of Barneys New York
Almost three months after Barneys New York declared bankruptcy, Authentic Brands Group LLC (ABG) announced on Friday that it has finalized its purchase of the department store retailer and laid out its future plans for the company.
The deal was valued at an estimated $271 million cash in cash when it was first announced in October, and received court approval on Thursday.
In between times, Barneys had received a competing offer from Israeli trade show executive Samuel Ben-Avraham but the bid ultimately failed to qualify for a bankruptcy auction.
Looking to the future, ABG, whose brand portfolio includes Juicy Couture and Nautica, intends to leverage its international reach in order to reboot Barneys and boost its presence globally through pop-ups, shop-in-shops and e-commerce, as well as a new freestanding store in an as yet unidentified key U.S. market.
As part of these plans, ABG is licensing the Barneys name to Saks Fifth Avenue, who will serve as the brand’s exclusive retail and e-commerce partner in the U.S. and Canada. Indeed, it’s on the fifth floor of the newly renovated Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York that the Barneys reboot will kick off, with a new shop-in-shop.
“There is a vision to create multisensory experiences that will usher Barneys New York into a new era while staying true to the brand’s DNA,” explained ABG in a press release. “Its initial focus will be on high-fashion collaborations, branded namesake products, and expanding international retail in both brick and mortar and eCommerce.”
Previous reports about the acquisition revealed that ABG will be closing Barneys’ remaining retail locations, but the company’s announcement on Friday also revealed plans to transform the retailer’s Madison Avenue flagship into a pop-up retail experience featuring cultural installations and exhibits.
Barneys originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August, when a significant rent hike at this same flagship proved to be the last straw for the luxury department store operator. Along with rising rents, the company had already been struggling with a range of other problems that have plagued traditional retailers in recent years, particularly increased competition from online giants such as Amazon.
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