All seven Barneys New York stores are likely to close, including its New York flagship on Madison Avenue.
New York—Barneys New York Inc. will likely close all seven of its stores after a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of its assets to licensing company Authentic Brands Group and investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc.

The judge approved the sale Thursday, court documents show, and it officially closed Friday morning at 10 a.m., leaving little time for potential bidders to swoop in and acquire the luxury retail chain.

Authentic Brands is reportedly going to license the Barneys name to Hudson’s Bay Co., owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, to open Barneys shop-in-shops within Saks stores and allow HBC to operate the Barneys website.

Its inventory would likely go to B. Riley, known for its liquidation business, which brought in $11.3 million in its most recent quarter.

“Over the past several months, we have worked diligently with the court, our lenders and creditors to maximize the value of Barneys in this sale process, and we continue to work with all relevant parties toward the best solution for Barneys’ employees, designers and vendors, and customers,” said Barneys in a statement to The Associated Press.

Barneys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 6 in New York amid soaring costs and declining sales.

Authentic Brands and B. Riley were the frontrunners in the bidding war, placing a $271.4 million “stalking horse” bid in October, but Sam Ben-Avraham, co-founder of streetwear brand Kith, rallied investors and began a campaign to preserve the legendary retailer, which was started by Barney Pressman in 1923.

“The brand as we know it today will disappear from our lives if it becomes an intellectual property license operation. Its unique identity, its point of view, its cutting-edge agenda will be lost,” wrote Ben-Avraham in an open letter on SaveBarneysNY.com.

The investor group wanted to devise a plan that would avoid “store closures and mass layoffs” but Ben-Avraham did not submit a final bid, sources told The New York Post.

Barneys has seven locations, including its New York flagship on Madison Avenue, and employs around 2,000 workers, according to Business Insider.

The silver lining for shoppers may be holiday liquidation sales on high-end luxury goods, a source told The New York Times.

The retailer’s unsecured creditors include the Row, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Prada.

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