Saks scaling again its Barneys relaunch plans, CEO says

The coronavirus pandemic has sidelined efforts to revive the Barneys New York model, The Submit has discovered.

Barneys — an iconic high-end retailer that shuttered all of its shops for good in February after filing for bankruptcy final yr — had been slated to make a splashy comeback in September as a boutique on the fifth flooring of Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship in Midtown Manhattan.

“We might have had a celebration and a efficiency with a well-known individual,” Saks CEO Marc Metrick informed The Submit in an interview.

However Saks is pushing again these plans till spring because the pandemic continues to place a damper on dress-to-impress purchases. And the Barneys’ relaunch shall be restricted to Saks’ New York flagship and a small stand-alone retailer in Greenwich, Conn. as Saks can be paring again plans to open Barneys boutiques at quite a few Saks areas within the US and Canada, Metrick mentioned.

Saks is paring again plans to open Barneys boutiques at quite a few Saks areas in key markets within the US and Canada, he mentioned.

The CEO declined to remark extra particularly on the timing of the scaled down launch. However he confirmed that social distancing necessities will doubtless kill the corporate’s plans for a giant social gathering. “I don’t suppose that works in 2021,” he mentioned.

Barneys — beloved for its annual gross sales and for bringing many edgy designer to the US, together with Armani, Christian Louboutin and Ermenegildo Zegna — stays the style trade’s highest-profile casualty in what has grow to be a tsunami of unhealthy information in the course of the pandemic. Now the coronavirus disaster threatens to dampen its revival.

A holiday season display on the building of Saks Fifth Avenue, Monday, November 21, 2016. (Photo Credit: Natan Dvir)
A vacation season show on the Saks Fifth Avenue constructing in 2016.Natan Dvir

Luxurious attire has taken an enormous hit over the previous seven months, and Metrick predicts it will proceed by means of the vacation season at Saks’ NYC flagship, recognized for drawing crowds with its spectacular Christmas shows.The Fifth Avenue retailer, which accounts for 25 p.c of the 45-store chain’s $3 billion revenues, didn’t pop in September as they usually would for fall vogue season. In reality, they had been worse than August. October exhibits no indicators of a let-up because of the dearth of free-spending vacationers and rich residents, a lot of whom proceed to be hunkered down in second properties outdoors town.

On a current go to to the shop, there have been racks of males’s fits and jackets sporting 25 p.c reductions together with tables of discounted ties taking over almost half of the sixth-floor males’s division.

The shops outdoors of New York Metropolis, nevertheless, are sprouting some inexperienced shoots due to these clients more and more splurging on designer footwear, luggage and duds from the likes of Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, Metrick mentioned.

Prospects who beforehand shopped on the shops twice a yr at the moment are splurging on luxurious as a result of they aren’t happening dear holidays or consuming out as a lot, he defined.

The division retailer’s total revenues are flat to this point this yr in comparison with the identical interval final yr fueled partly by these “aspirational” clients, as Metrick describes them.

“Proper now luxurious is considerably down as unhealthy if not worse than the entire 2008/2009 recession,” mentioned Craig Johnson, president of Buyer Progress Companions.

It’s in that context that Barneys shall be reborn through an uncommon technique that has been questioned from the beginning given the numerous overlap in merchandise between the posh malls.

“There are a sure variety of individuals, principally New Yorkers, who will like having a vestige of outdated Barneys in its higher days,” Johnson mentioned. However for the common clients it stays unclear how Saks will differentiate what Barneys’ gives from the manufacturers it gives, he mentioned.

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