Barneys bankruptcy leads to rare luxury deals this Black Friday
Barneys New York will deepen its discounts over Black Friday weekend in a rare clearance of luxury brands—undercutting rival retailers that are generally loathe to offer price cuts on expensive merchandise.
Clearance sales at Barneys will average 30 percent to 35 percent off starting on Wednesday as the holiday shopping rush begins, a representative for B. Riley Financial, the firm handling the sale all remaining inventory, confirmed Tuesday. That’s steeper than the earlier round of 5 to 10 percent discounts.
Storewide discounts of this magnitude are scarce at high-end retailers, which avoid heavy discounting in order to maintain an exclusive aura around their luxury goods. Promotions are normally limited to leftover merchandise from previous seasons that didn’t sell, but since Barneys is liquidating everything, the sales are on 95 percent of the store’s goods—including seldom-discounted brands such as Prada and Bottega Veneta.
Barneys’ move to liquidate an entire chain worth of luxury goods is unprecedented, says Beth Goldstein, an analyst for fashion and handbags at research firm NPD Group. As Barneys keeps slashing prices during the crucial holiday season, the lower prices may impact its competitors as well, especially at stores close to the remaining five Barneys locations. Discounts are expected to intensify through the holidays as products sell out.
“It’s completely different from what we’ve seen from anyone in the past,” says Goldstein. “We don’t see discounts like this on luxury goods.”
Barneys has been selling its remaining inventory after Authentic Brands Group won court approval to buy the bankrupt company in late October. It plans to license the Barneys name and close most stores as it rolls out shops inside of Saks Fifth Avenue locations. A representative for ABG declined to comment.
Returns are no longer accepted by Barneys and shoppers can’t redeem gift cards. There are more than 26,000 different luxury items still available on the Barneys online store.
Meanwhile, several Barneys locations have been promoting their store-closing sales with people on the street holding up red-and-yellow signage reading “Everything must be sold.”