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Barneys New York

Barneys New York

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Barneys New York is a chain of luxury department stores headquartered in New York City. The chain owns large stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale, and smaller stores in other locations across the United States.

Brands sold include Giorgio Armani, Manolo Blahnik, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Jil Sander, Dries van Noten, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ermenegildo Zegna, as well as Barneys private label merchandise. The New York and Beverly Hills stores also have restaurants that are operated by third parties.

The company began in 1923, when Barney Pressman opened his first store in Manhattan with $500 raised by pawning his wife's engagement ring in order to lease a 500-square-foot (46 m2) space at Seventh Avenue and West 17th Street in Manhattan with 20 ft (6 m) of frontage. Barney's Clothes was stocked with 40 brand name suits and a big sign with a slogan, "No Bunk, No Junk, No Imitations." Barney's sold clothing at discounted prices by purchasing showroom samples, retail overstocks, and manufacturers' closeouts at auctions and bankruptcy sales. It also offered free alterations and free parking to attract customers.

Barney Pressman claimed to be the first Manhattan retailer to use radio and television, beginning with "Calling All Men to Barney's" radio spots in the 1930s that parodied the introduction of the Dick Tracy show. He sponsored radio programs featuring Irish tenors and bands playing jigs to advertise Irish woolens. Women encased in barrels gave away matchbooks with the store name and address. He also chartered a boat to take 2,000 of his customers from Manhattan to Coney Island.

In a 1973 interview to Business Week, Fred Pressman became :"convinced that the discount route definitely was not for us. My father and I have always hated cheap goods.... I didn't want to sell low-end merchandise. Now, many of those who chose to are verging on bankruptcy."

In 1970, Barney's built a fifth story onto their original building and a five-story addition. The original store was renamed America House and the addition was named International House. The expanded store occupied the entire Seventh Avenue block (between 16th and 17th streets), with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of selling space and 20 individual shops.

International House, Fred Pressman promised, would feature complete collections of European designers, "from denim pants to $250 suits," not just a watered-down "potpourri of fabrics and models." The renovated America House, he said, would hold merchandise from "manufacturers who are in effect designers."

By 1973, the store was stocking 60,000 suits. It carried the full lines of designers such as Bill Blass, Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy. It became the first clothing store in the U.S. to stock the full line of Giorgio Armani, after signing an agreement in 1976.

Women's clothing was introduced in 1976 on the third floor of the International House. The next year, the women's store relocated to The Penthouse, a new top-level enclosure. Barney's also added housewares, cosmetics, and gift departments to the store. Also in 1977, Barney's in-store restaurant was renamed The Cafe and began selling salads, soup, and sandwiches.

The apostrophe in Barney's was dropped in 1981. (The removal of the apostrophe would be short lived; it was reinserted around the end of the decade.) In 1981 the women's penthouse became a duplex. Barney's imported 80% of the women's and 40% of the men's merchandise. The $25 million, 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) women's store finally opened in 1986 in a row of six townhouses and two larger adjacent buildings across the store along 17th Street. The addition included a unisex beauty salon and restaurant, antiques, and accessories, gifts, and housewares departments. It accounted for about one-third of Barneys' sales of some $90 million the following year.

In 1988, Barneys opened a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) men's store in the World Financial Center. In 1993, the store moved to the current 230,000-square-foot (21,000 m2), 9-story Manhattan store on Madison Avenue between East 60th and 61st streets. It was the largest new store in New York City since the Great Depression. The store is a 22-story building with 14 floors of offices above the store. The wood floors, a marble mosaic on the lobby floor, gold-leaf ceilings, and lacquered walls of the new Barney's store cost $267 million, according to one source.

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