New York’s iconic department stores may not always be profitable, but they come with a strong nostalgia factor and, therefore, valuable IP assets.
When department store Century 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2020, co-founder Sonny Gindi and his family scooped up the intellectual property rights to the store known for selling designer brands like Dior. (CHFRF) and Givenchy at cut prices and received regular calls on HBO’s “Sex and the City.”
A streamlined and renamed department store called “Century 21 NYC” is now set to reopen in the former Financial District location by spring 2023.
The sad story of Barneys New York
A New York department store that had a far less happy ending is Barneys New York.
First opened on Seventh Avenue and 17th Street in New York City in 1923, the luxury shopping destination was beloved by stars and had been around for nearly 100 years.
But that was ultimately done by what some analysts called a combination of overly optimistic expansion and the rise of online shopping.
When Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy in August 2019, brand management firm Authentic Brands purchased the Barneys name for $271.4 million.
At the time of the acquisition, Authentic Brands announced its intention to “leverage [Barneys’] world-class scale, marketing expertise and partner network to grow Barneys’ presence as a global luxury retailer and lifestyle brand. »
Authentic Brands also struck a deal in which certain Barneys products would be featured as “shop-in-shops” at former department store rival Saks Fifth Avenue.
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Despite a number of backstage meetings and the owner hoping to find a buyer who would try to keep Barneys as a department store in its own right, the store eventually closed while inventory was liquidated in a sale. at the 275,000 square foot lighthouse. located at 660 Madison Avenue.
The clearance sale lasted several weeks and was an apocalyptic sight of empty floors and designer clothes strewn about in a building that once epitomized exclusivity and luxury.
Barneys the beauty brand
Although there are no signs of a return to Century 21, Authentic Brands recently announced that it has signed a deal with South Korean company Gloent Group for a line of Barneys beauty products.
Slated to be sold both online and at select Saks stores and other pop-up department stores, the line will include a range of cosmetics, skincare, fragrance and hair products.
There isn’t much information on specific products, but an early press photo shows sleek silver-gray tubes and bottles of a gel cream, hair mask and hybrid cleanser.
“We are thrilled to partner with Authentic Brands Group for the launch of Barneys New York Beauty,” Gloent Group CEO Justin Song said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing Barneys rich history of luxury by launching premium beauty, wellness and water products for the internal and external health of the next generation.”
Over the past two years, Barneys has also become synonymous with the worst department store disappearance. What was once a high-end luxury empire now only exists on a few product lines and in the stores of former rivals.
The department store market has certainly been tough over the past few years. While legendary names like Neiman Marcus and JC Penney are in serious financial trouble due to a changing landscape, others are not only staying afloat, but moving forward with confidence.
The luxury department store chain Printemps plans to open a store in New York’s Financial District in the spring of 2024.