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Now that the Barneys Co-op in Chelsea has shuttered, that only leaves two Co-op locations in Manhattan: the Soho store, and the store on the Upper West Side. However, WWD reports that that number is about to whittle down even further, as the Upper West Side location is about to undergo a major makeover. Basically, it will no longer be a Co-op.
Instead, the store will be rebranded as Barneys New York, where it will introduce women's designer clothing, handbags, and jewelry. Men's will be completely eliminated from the store, and the entire interior will be "renovated along the lines of the clean aesthetic of the renovated Barneys Madison Avenue flagship."
The article continues:
The retail concept is closer to the vision chief executive officer Mark Lee outlined for the Co-op business early on in his tenure, explaining that the offering "has to be more designer, more special."
Sources close to Barneys said the new Barneys New York stores will be "all about the edit. The size and location will inform the edit. To add in women's in designer, you need more space." The retailer "assumes it has more women shoppers in New York." Besides, there are nine floors devoted to men's wear at the Madison Avenue flagship.
Overall, the announcement isn't that surprising. It's fair to say that some of the Co-op's more "designer-driven brands" like Alexander Wang, Carven and Isabel Marant have outgrown their homes hanging alongside less expensive brands like the Co-op private label. Arguably, they probably should be sold with the retailer's other big-draw designer labels. As WWD explains, "The lines between the dedicated Barneys New York shopper and the defined Co-op consumer are blurring.
Or, as our sister site points out, there soon might not be any more lines to blur.
· Barneys New York Revamps Co-Ops [WWD]
· Barneys Is Slowly Eliminating Co-Op Stores [Racked]
· Barneys Confirms Chelsea Closing and a Possible New Flagship [Racked NY]