Five weeks ago, a visit to Barneys New York’s Beverly Hills flagship to survey the state of the store-closing sale found discounts of a meager 5% to 10% and and no shortage of inventory on hand. A revisit this week found much deeper discounts and clothing racks and shelves thinning out considerably. Below are a few of the things that have changed since last month — and a couple that haven’t.
Handbags are currently discounted 25% (compared to just 5% on Nov. 5); women’s accessories (including hats, scarves and sunglasses) were 20% off as of this writing (the category was only 10% off when we checked last month); and footwear by Chanel and Gucci was displayed with a 20% off sign (a discount deepened from 5% five weeks ago). And cosmetics and skin-care products (on the lower level of the store) that were originally 5% off are now discounted 15%.
The women’s designer ready-to-wear category is now 25% off, including that sequined georgette silk slipdress by Dries Van Noten that caught our eye the first time around. It’s still there and ready to be someone’s New Year’s Eve frock for $2,377.50, down from the original $3,170, with men’s designer ready-wear seeing a deeper discount at 35% and men’s footwear clocking in at 20% off.
The selection of fine jewelry on hand appears to have shrunk considerably, most likely due to the fact that what started out as a 10% discount across the category has tripled to 30%. (Still on display? The stunner of a ruby necklace by Irene Neuwirth that’s now discounted more than $5,000 from its original retail price.)
The deepest discount of all — a whopping 40% — now applies to a cordoned-off clearance section on the third floor of the five-story Wilshire Boulevard flagship filled to overflowing with previous seasons’ merchandise, including a shimmery teal blue Calvin Klein gown originally priced at $5,500 and previously discounted down to $2,639.99. Cleaving off an additional 40% would send it home with a lucky shopper for $1,604.
A bummer for the bargain-shopping cannabis enthusiast: the high-end head shop concept on the fifth floor is no more; the 300-square-foot space is now filled with LVMH’s Rimowa hard-sided luggage (which, according to a sales associate, is not being discounted) and an assortment of travel blankets and memory-foam pillows.
Although those are the posted discounts, it’s worth knowing that in-store fliers and email blasts have been touting the opportunity for shoppers to temporarily take an extra percentage off the top. Monday, for example, was the last day of a five-day chance to slice an additional 10% off certain categories, a discount that appears to have been extended for an indeterminate length of time based on an email that landed in our inbox this morning.
What hasn’t changed
The discount still don’t apply to any of the other LVMH brands (including Givenchy, Celine, Fendi and Loewe), though most of that inventory, if it still exists, isn’t on the floor (save for a few Fendi handbags). And shoppers who drive should still expect to pay for parking (both self-parking and valet) as Barneys no longer provides parking validation.