Barneys’ lights still on, but workers left in dark

Employees complain of deteriorating conditions as retailer rushes to liquidate

TRD New York /
Jan.January 17, 2020 10:45 AM
Ex-Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

Ex-Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

As Barneys rushes to liquidate its assets, the fate of its employees is uncertain. And they are not happy about it.

According to the retailer’s bankruptcy filing, despite $4 million in severance pay obligations, the company only has $2 million available to pay its employees, the New York Times reported. Now, staffers say they have experienced a deterioration in the working conditions at the stores and missed paychecks blamed on a “cyber incident,” according to the newspaper.

The New York luxury fashion retailer was recently sold in two parts for $270 million to brand merchandiser Authentic Brands Group and B. Riley.

Brick-and-mortar retail has seen a string of store closures and bankruptcies. Barneys, for decades a hallmark of New York’s once-thriving luxury retail scene, filed for bankruptcy in August of last year after a huge rent increase at its flagship store. Daniella Vitale, the company’s chief executive officer, jumped ship soon after to become chief brand officer of jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company, after earning $1.3 million in compensation between August 2018 and July 2019. [NYT] — Georgia Kromrei


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