The brand management firm announced today that it had closed the deal to purchase the luxury department store’s intellectual property — a day after its sale to the stalking-horse bidder, along with investment banking firm B. Riley Financial, was approved by a judge in a hearing at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
“As ABG welcomes Barneys New York into the fold, it is building a business model that will adapt this legendary brand for the future of experiential luxury,” the company wrote in a statement. “ABG is committed to preserving the legacy of Barneys New York while positioning it for long-term growth through key partnerships that will expand its global presence as a lifestyle brand and luxury retail experience.”
As part of the transaction, ABG said it would transform Barneys’ nearly-century-old flagship location on New York City’s Madison Avenue into a pop-up retail store — housing boutiques, art installations and cultural exhibits as well as entertainment that marks ABG’s foray into experiential luxury retailing. (ABG’s liquidation bid originally proposed the closings of Barneys’ seven existing stores, including the Manhattan outpost on 660 Madison Avenue.)
ABG will also join forces with Saks Fifth Avenue, which will serve as Barneys’ retail and e-commerce partner — including Barneys.com and BarneysWarehouse.com — in the United States and Canada. Through the union, Barneys will live on the fifth floor of Saks’ newly renovated flagship in New York City as well as launch shop-in-shops in key Saks markets.
The acquisition will preserve the current licensing agreement between Barneys New York and Seven & i Holdings, which operates 12 Barneys locations in Japan.
Barneys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection nearly three months ago, but it managed to secure $218 million in financing that allowed it to maintain operations. The retailer has struggled amid skyrocketing rents and shifting consumer demands that have weighed heavily on its margins.
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