Let's not bet around the bush here.
The Barneys Warehouse Sale that opened today bears no resemblance to the designer bargain bonanza that we had come to know, and is probably not worth your time.
About a year ago, we weighed in on the newly relocated Barneys Warehouse Sale which had moved to the Metropolitan Pavilion for the first time after being turned out of its traditional 17th Street home as a result of extensive building renovations. We, and pretty much everyone else who had anything to say about it, agreed that this version was barely a shadow of the treasure trove of bargains that it had been in past seasons. The Shophoound even suggested that it was time to end it for good. Diverting the best of Barneys' clearance merchandise to the online, year-round Warehouse Sale site left the semi-annual Chelsea event looking like little more than a pointless exercise in maintaining a tradition that had outlived its usefulness.
This past winter, it looked like the folks at Barneys had heeded out advice, or at the very least, come to the same conclusions, and for the first time in years, there was no Winter Warehouse Sale. We and plenty of other people figured that as the end of it, and happily went on with out lives finding plenty of other places to shop.
It turns out that the sale was just taking a season off, or perhaps morphing into an annual, late Summer event, because, today, another Barneys Warehouse Sale opened at the Metropolitan Pavilion, and while it is slightly better than the last pathetic version, it isn't by much. We aren't going to walk you through the sale, section by section, picking out the few appealing designer items that could be found through some industrious rummaging. It's just not worth it. As far as we could tell, nothing was reduced further than its last final clearance price, some of which are only 50% to 60% off —scant savings for this type of event. There was an abundance of no particularly category except for men's suits and sportcoats, and even then, we saw nothing like the endless racks remembered from the old Warehouse Sales. Very little of what we saw appeared to come from the Spring 2014 season, and much of it was from last year or before. Clearly we were again seeing the dregs of what had already had a good run online and was finally being unloaded for good, which is not an inspiring prospect in a city where we can shop at the often bountiful sample sales of designers who sell to Barneys, and get better deals earlier in the season for current goods. Many things came from brands that no longer sell to Barneys, and in some cases, never did.
The old Barneys Warehouse Sale used to be a fun shopping adventure with great bargains justw aiting for the sharp-eyed, quick moving shopper willing to throw an elbow or two to get to the good stuff. As we pointed out last year, this sad excuse for what we have come to know as the Barneys Warehouse Sale should just end. Considering that Barneys' current management has shown little regard for most of the things that historically made Barneys unique and beloved by New York shoppers, it seems curious that they insist on hanging on to the Warehouse Sale, which has been made fairly obsolete by modern technology and e-commerce. Of all the things that the store's president, Mark Lee, and his management team have jettisoned (The Co-Op, the hilarious Holiday Windows, The separate but side by side Men's and Women's store concepts, the signature eclectic yet warm and inviting store ambiance) it is this pitiful, bedraggled Warehouse Sale that really should be discontinued.
Barneys Warehouse Sale Through Labor Day September 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, entrance at 110 West 19th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues, Chelsea
Warehouse Update: Is It Time To End The Barneys Warehouse Sale For Good?