Barneys declares bankruptcy, joins growing list of fashion retailers in financial crisis

August 7, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Barneys New York logo

Barneys New York (also known as Barneys), one of fashion’s best-known luxury retailers, has filed for bankruptcy, and has announced plans to close 15 of its 22 stores in the United States. According to Bloomberg, “Barneys said it secured $218 million in financing and will continue to operate until it finds a buyer.”

Three of the cities that will continue to have brick-and-mortar Barneys stores are New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Barneys will close its stores in Chicago, Seattle and Las Vegas.

Barneys, which opened its first store Manhattan in 1923, has joined the growing list of fashion retailers on a steep financial decline, with store closures and bankruptcy filings. Casualties in the luxury retail business in the past year have included Lord & Taylor and Henri Bendel.

Non-luxury fashion retailers have also been victims of the “retail apocalypse,” which has been largely blamed on the rise of online shopping. Fashion retailers that have announced a massive percentage of store closures in 2018 and 2019 include Ann Taylor, Dressbarn, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Foot Locker, David’s Bridal and Payless ShoeSource. A few fashion retailers (such as Charlotte Russe and Bebe) have emerged from bankruptcy and are slowly trying to build back their business under new ownership. Department stores that carry fashion (such as Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears) have also been closing stores.