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Oh snap. Looks like the iconic biannual Barneys warehouse sale might be nearing the end. According to an article in this weekend's New York Post, new CEO Mark Lee's retail strategy may result in the abandonment of the highly buzzed-about event.
Lee is spearheading an initiative to turn around the struggling retailer, and he's supposedly always looked down on the warehouse sale concept. The Post reports that Lee sent all the highly coveted items to clearance centers before this year's sale even began, limiting the selection of designer finds. We've heard the same thing, and it's hardly a surprise, given the poor reviews of the most recent sale. "It was a total bust," one shopper told the Post, while another said, "What once was a prototypical New York experience has been diminished to an idea of what it was."
But if Barneys killed the sale, how would they get rid of overstock? Candace Corlett, an analyst at WSL Strategic Retail, suggests a solution: "There are so many more prestigious ways to get rid of excess inventory than having a warehouse sale where merchandise is stomped on and moved around and damaged. Why would Barneys do that when they could sell it on Gilt or Ideeli?"
Barneys would only tell the Post that Lee wasn't available for comment. But they did address the shortage of merchandise at the most recent sale. A spokesperson explained that Barneys "bought the right amount of product and therefore had less to offer at a deep discount."—Yale Breslin
· Barneys' empty 'house [NY Post]
· All Barneys Warehouse Sale coverage [Racked NY]