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Today's WWD addresses two major Barneys rumors that have been circulating for quite some time. First, the department store has officially confirmed that the Chelsea Co-op will close after next month's warehouse sale. Second, it announced that Barneys is searching for a new downtown flagship.
Let's start with the Co-op. The article explains that the reason for the closure has nothing to do with anything but the lease, as 2012 was a record year for sales:
The downtown Co-Op's closure coincides with the expiration of Barneys' lease and the landlord's redevelopment plans for the building. The owner is planning a complete overhaul, which is estimated to take up to a year, and all of the building's tenants are required to vacate. Sources close to Barneys said the retailer felt there was no opportunity to extend the lease.
Buried in that paragraph is the strong possibility that there might not be a warehouse sale this summer. With an overhaul that's estimated to take up to a year to complete, it would seem that that leaves no available space for the bi-annual sale, unless Barneys chooses another location to host it.
However, the article doesn't touch on that any further, as the bulk of the story centers around the brand new flagship. A Barneys spokesperson told the paper:
While we have no immediate plans to replace the Chelsea store downtown, we believe that there remains significant opportunity for Barneys in downtown Manhattan to replace and expand upon this store closing, and our historic business, and are continuing to look at multiple real estate options for the medium to long term.
Though as the next paragraph points out, finding a flagship location in New York City isn't exactly an easy feat. The current Madison Avenue flagship spans 230,000 square feet—a large chunk of real estate that isn't going to be readily available elsewhere. (As the article also mentions, it took Nordstrom forever to find its plot of land, and that store isn't slated to be built until 2018).
In the meantime, begin placing your bets on which neighborhood Barneys decided to colonize next.
· Barneys New York Looking for Downtown Flagship? [WWD]
· Rumor: The Barneys Co-op in Chelsea Might Be Closing [Racked NY]
· All Barneys Coverage [Racked NY]