Barneys to Return to its First Flagship

by Harry Sheff

Luxury retailer Barneys announced that it will be opening a flagship store in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in 2017—in the space occupied by the original Barney’s store that Barney Pressman opened in 1923.

Barneys in 1989

“The new Barneys New York flagship will occupy a major portion of its former historic store,” the retailer said in a statement. The new store will be in what is currently a Loehmann’s store on Seventh Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets. Loehmann’s filed for bankruptcy protection this week and announced it would close all doors.

“Today’s announcement represents the realization of our long-standing goal of returning to downtown with a substantial location,” said Barneys CEO Mark Lee. “The opportunity to revitalize our presence with a state-of-the-art store on the same street where the company served customers for 75 years only enhances that plan. We believe the robust and growing downtown market is under penetrated in terms of a larger specialty retailer, and we look forward to serving these customers again with what we anticipate will be one of our most important stores.”

Barney Pressman opened his first store as a discount men’s shop in a 500 sq. ft. space on Seventh Avenue and 17th Street. Son Fred Pressman changed the business model to luxury apparel. The original store grew, and in 1970 there was a major expansion: Barneys now took up the entire block on Seventh between 16th and 17th. Women’s apparel wasn’t added until the late 1970s and in 1986, another major expansion onto 17th Street added an additional 70,000 sq. ft.

Barneys moved to its Madison Avenue and 61st Street flagship in 1993. The original Seventh Avenue store closed in 1997.

The new flagship will be 57,000 sq. ft. over five floors with 200 feet facing Seventh Avenue and some facing 16th Street. The store will carry menswear, women’s wear, cosmetics, fragrances and skincare. There are plans for a restaurant on the top retail floor.

The Madison Avenue store will be unchanged.