What the heck is going on at Barneys New York? Is it sold or is it still for sale? Is it open or is it closed? (It’s “NOT CLOSED.”) Is black in or out? Is the salad at Fred’s still good or like what?!
To recap: this past weekend, Sam Ben-Avraham mounted a campaign to #SaveBarneys, with an Instagram account and a petition to match and an intent to submit a bid to compete with Authentic Brand Group’s leading $271 million offer. ““I think we can be in line with what what Authentic Brands is coming with. I don’t need to beat them, but I think I have a better proposal,” Ben-Avraham told GQ. The deadline to receive bids competing with ABG’s last week was set for Tuesday, October 22, with an auction to take place on Thursday, October 24. But the retailer was granted a 24-hour extension to receive bids, and Ben-Avraham put in a bid on Wednesday worth around a reported $260 million. (His plan, unlike ABG’s, includes keeping five stores open.) The auction was then set to take place on Thursday, October 31.
On Thursday afternoon, the New York Post reported that the rival bid was not approved by the court and the sale to ABG was moving forward. (Per WWD: “One source described Ben-Avraham’s bid as ‘amateur hour’ while another called it ‘highly competitive.’” Okay, bros!)
But THEN!, the New York Times fashion director and critic Vanessa Friedman tweeted a statement from Barneys, reading: “Barneys is continuing to work towards a value-maximizing going concern transaction, including in relation to a potential transaction led by Sam Ben-Avraham and his group of financial, operational, and strategic partners, up to and including the October 31 sale hearing.” (As one user replied, “Well that sounds charming and human.” Sarcasm aside, it actually kinda does!) A spokesperson for Barneys confirmed the statement when reached for comment, and the #SaveBarneys spokesman wrote in an email, “Sounds like the news you read is not correctly stating the facts. We are still in the race.”
The auction will proceed as planned on October 31. So the Barneys saga will end then. Probably. Maybe??? At least the Instagram account has been so fun to follow!
In the midst of all this, the chef at Fred’s, the department store’s legendary upscale restaurant, mouthed off about Barneys owner Richard Perry to the New York Post on Sunday, and was publicly dismissed and escorted from the building—to a standing ovation!—the following day. Whoever said Barneys hadn’t mastered experiential retail?
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Originally Appeared on GQ