The luxury department store chain has filed for bankruptcy protection due to a downturn in retail sales and “excessively high” rent, reports the Wall Street Journal. The bankruptcy protection will give Barneys time to restructure and hopefully find a buyer.
Barneys certainly isn’t the only department store suffering this fate. Most have struggled to get foot traffic through their doors in an age when online shopping is quickly becoming the norm. But Barneys has also been hit extra hard due to rising rents at some of its most prime locations. The rent at its flagship Manhattan store almost doubled this year alone, going from $16.2 million to a whopping $27.9 million.
Barneys currently operates 13 department stores and nine warehouse stores, but as part of the restructuring plans, the company will be closing stores in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Seattle. However, the company says it will continue to run seven of its stores, including that flagship Manhattan store with its eye-watering rent.