As Barneys struggles, fashion vendors attempt on alternative channels – Reuters

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – When style label Prada (1913. HK) began demanding greater control over shop flooring plans in U.S. outlet store, Barneys New York, now mired in insolvency proceedings, was one of the couple of with adequate swagger to withstand.

SUBMIT IMAGE: The Barneys New york city indication is seen in a display screen window outside the luxury outlet store in New York, U.S., July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Picture

The high-end retailer, appreciated by its well-heeled customers for its choice, said in interviews at the time it wished to maintain its influence over purchasing the merchandise instead of delivering to a leased shop-in-shop controlled by the brand name.

Prada eventually reestablished its ladies’s styles to the outlet store after a three-year hiatus, and still counts Barneys as a wholesale partner, a person close to the label said.

But if that stand-off ended well for Barneys, its personal bankruptcy last week may give style and high-end brand names brand-new inspiration to move beyond wholesale plans with outlet store, to focus on their own shops and sites.

“A lot of luxury suppliers prefer to cost their own shops, instead of in wholesale,” said Jerry Storch, ceo of consultancy Storch Advisors.

While fashion brands still like Barneys’ trend-setting vibe, direct sales are far more lucrative than wholesale plans, and suppliers eventually want to be in control of their own operations and brand experience, Storch stated.

Barneys New York owes some $1.6 million to Prada alone, in addition to millions more to labels from Kering (PRTP.PA)’s Gucci to LVMH (LVMH.PA)’s Givenchy, according to its insolvency filings, and friction with suppliers had been building up.

According to Barneys’ court filings, merchandise deliveries began to slow over the summer, with many vendors declining to send their stock unless they got cash on delivery.

“There was a great deal of talk among brands about discovering other distribution channels,” one source acquainted with Barneys’ provider network said. “They ‘d been paying late, in the market, everyone knew that.”

Barneys has up until Oct. 24 to prevent liquidation by finding a purchaser and clinching a sale, according to regards to its personal bankruptcy financing laid out throughout a court hearing recently.

“Barneys is devoted to working closely with our vendors to guarantee we continue offering our consumers with outstanding services, products and experiences,” a company spokesperson informed Reuters.

“We have actually secured around $218 million in new financing from partners who have directly expressed self-confidence in our capability to attain a value-enhancing transaction,” she said. “This capital will be utilized, in part, to ensure our long-standing relationships with our vendor partners who are so important to our future success.”

For major luxury brands, hiccups in the wholesale chain just intensify the attraction of controlling their own products with their own shops, as they look for to master their image by avoiding mark-downs, gain versatility to present products at differing rates, boost brand name direct exposure, and increase margins – and the trend because direction is choosing up.


Prada, with just under 20% of incomes originated from wholesale accounts, wishes to whittle that down to 5% over the next 3 to five years, President Patrizio Bertelli informed analysts in early August.

The bulk of that reduction will fall on Italy and the rest of Europe. Prada had actually already changed some 40 sale areas in U.S. department stores into concessions, essentially mini stores brands operate within host outlet store.

The concessions model is already more prevalent in Europe. Parisian outlet store like Galeries Lafayette are a maze of branded shop-in-shops. It is a cultural shift for numerous U.S. luxury sellers consisting of Neiman Marcus [ NMRCUS.UL] and Macy’s Inc’s (M.N) Bloomingdale’s, where concessions are somewhat less common.

Barneys does refrain from doing concessions throughout any classification in general. Barneys recently hosted limited-time pop-ups with brand names such as Chanel, Bulgari and Moynat.

“Department shops that move to concessions don’t require an internal buying team to choose merchandise any longer,” said Mario Ortelli, handling partner at luxury consultancy Ortelli & & Co. “What they need to do is develop the right retail environment to produce shop traffic and draw in the brand names.”

Another market source said that concession costs, where sellers usually navigate 30% of sales, are starting to fall as brand names are in a more powerful position to work out.

If brands have more say about where and how their product is offered, some might select to leave less profitable department shop areas.

“That’s a real threat for the major department shops since they depend on having the huge name brand names in their stores to provide trustworthiness, so the pressure is actually on,” stated Ron Frasch, the former president at merchant Saks Fifth Avenue in addition to its competing Bergdorf Goodman.

The Barneys department shop chain, fighting with decreasing sales and skyrocketing lease, plans to close 15 areas and wishes to keep seven stores – including its flagship on Madison Opportunity in New york city – open for service.

Suppliers are also significantly exploring other methods of dispersing merchandise via partnerships with players like Rent the Runway, Richemont’s (CFR.S) Yoox Net-a-Porter and Stitch Fix Inc (SFIX.O).

To fend off a few of this competitors, some high-end department-store chains have formed collaborations of their own.

In June, for example, Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) and Lease the Runway announced a tie-up that intends to draw more foot traffic into the outlet store while making the clothing rental service easier.

In April, struggling upscale U.S. retailer Neiman Marcus took a minority stake in online luxury reseller Fashionphile. In 2016, the luxury outlet store likewise coordinated with Rent the Runway and opened its first in-store Rent the Runway shop in a bid to bring in younger buyers.

Reporting by Sarah White in Paris and Melissa Fares in New York City; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

This content was originally published here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *