Barneys New York is undergoing a restructuring of its Co-op stores through a comprehensive plan to take the luxury department store into a profitable future. After already closing several of the lower-priced stores across the US, Barneys will be renovating this summer and relaunching its two largest Co-op doors - at 2151 Broadway on the Upper East Side, Manhattan and The Grove in Los Angeles - simply under the nameplate of Barneys New York.
After the revamp, these doors will no longer sell menswear, focusing on women's designer-driven apparel and accessories. The rebranding of the Co-op concept shows as shift towards a more cohesive, well-edited retail approach. CEO Mark Lee explains “[the offering] has to be more designer, more special.”
This strategic shift has also become evident within the last year in Barney's online presence, moving toward a more streamlined website, which no longer has a separate section for Co-op as merchandise has been intermingled between the Co-op and flagship stores for some time.
Neiman Marcus also seems to be in agreement that the lines between the designer and contemporary shoppers are now blurring as it opened its own lower-priced concept, Cusp, within all of its 42 locations.
Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew, however, seems to be moving in the opposite direction with the major expansion of its menswear buy and launch of its new hr2 divisional concept. According to WWD: “hr2 will not carry any of the same merchandise sold at Holt Renfrew stores, though the new retail division will be stocked with lower-priced or secondary labels from many of the same designers and brands that supply Holt Renfrew with their top-priced lines.” While women's contemporary has proven to be an ever-growing department within Holt Renfrew, the goal of this new concept is to maximize its reach and target a younger, more price-conscious shopper before U.S. retailers - like Nordstrom (which owns the discount chain Nordstrom Rack), Target and Marshalls - establish doors across the country.
Read the Forbes article here.