Barney's files for bankruptcy protection

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The Independent Online
Barney's files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK - Barney's, the famed fashion store that in recent years has become the virtual definition of Manhattan chic and a monument to big- dollar opulence and social pretension, has filed for bankruptcy protection, it emerged yesterday, writes David Usborne. Founded 73 years ago by Barney Pressman as a cut-rate men's clothing shop, the company, still privately held, has filed a Chapter 11 petition in the New York bankruptcy court, the victim, apparently, of a too-rapid expansion programme and cash-flow problems. Barney's is believed to have stumbled, in particular, at its huge and lavishly appointed midtown store on Madison Avenue. Opened to great fanfare in 1993, it has none the less become the fashion stop of choice for New York's rich and famous. Want to see a Hollywood star? Try Barney's on Saturday. However, trade reports in recent weeks have been pointing to late payments by Barney's of bills from its suppliers. The company is also believed to owe some $600m to Isetan Co, a Japanese retailing company with which it entered a partnership in 1989 to open two outlets in Japan. Barney's troubles come in the wake of a disasterous Christmas for American retailers, with many chains reporting minuscule growth in sales over the 1994/5 season.

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