Yesterday marked the end the last Barneys Warehouse Sale in its traditional Chelsea location, and the retailer took the opportunity to officially confirm to shoppers what The Shophound has predicted: that the sale would relocate to the Metropolitan Pavilion a couple blocks East on 18th Street. Of course, having seen the pitiful selection of merchandise that was left even by the time the sale was halfway over, we have wonder if it is worth holding the live, walk-in version of the sale at all?
One has to remember that when the Warehouse Sale originally created, Barneys was more of a local destination on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Seventeenth Street (now the homes of Loehmann's and the Rubin Museum of Art), and holding on off-site sale was a great way to clear out inventory from the previous season while devoting the main store's limited floor space to current, full price merchandise. Since then, however the retailer has expanded, added a whole network of 13 outlet stores and, just this season, created an ongoing Barneys Warehouse website that will be open all the time.
Much like the Academy Awards, the Barneys Warehouse Sale has always given shoppers something to criticize and complain about, but regular customers will probably be able to point to incredible designer deals in their closets that they never could have been able to afford if they hadn't found them at the sale -usually during it's last days when additional discounts can reach up to 50% and 60% off the lowest ticket price. We certainly have a few, but there hardly any such items this time when the sale's offerings were dramatically diminished from the first day. Most of the designer items for men and women were reserved for the website, where many of them are still available but without any additional reductions from their final clearance prices in Barneys' stores. Who knows when, if ever, they will be re-reduced?
So, at this point, with outlets and a full-time off-price clearance e-commerce site why do they even need do do theses sales at all? In fairness, it's more profitable for the store to sell clearance items online in an ongoing manner without slashing prices so dramatically, so we can't blame them for creating what is really an off-price e-commerce site that should compete with the likes of Bluefly or Yoox. Next season, they have already given notice that the sale would focus only on men's tailored clothing and dress furnishings, but if the reduced selection we saw last week is any indication of what we can expect -and much of it felt like we had already seen it at previous Warehouse Sales- then we don't see why Barneys should even bother continuing with it at all. As we said when we reviewed this sale's first day offerings, The Warehouse Sale that we knew and loved is finished. Let's let it go.
Barneys Warehouse Sale (Official Site)
Warehouse Report: About the Sad Excuse For A Barneys Warehouse Sale That Opened Yesterday