Barney's luxury department store has created a deal to sell that will keep the Madison Avenue flagship alive – albeit on a smaller scale.
Saks Fifth Avenue joins the licensing company Authentic Brands Group to buy Barneys out of bankruptcy for $ 270 million, sources at The Post said. The deal, if approved by the court, could help save three Barneys stores – in Beverly Hills, Midtown Manhattan and Boston – and give Barney's presence in thriving Saks stores, these sources said.
Under the agreement, ABG would acquire the Barneys brand and Saks would pay a license fee to operate Barneys.com and set up a Barneys store in Saks. The size of Barney's mini-stores can be between 1
ABG is also in talks with Barney's landlord, Ashkenazy Acquisition, to keep open stores in Beverly Hills and on flagship Madison Avenue, where the rent more than doubled this year – and triggered the bankruptcy, this person said. The branding company, which owns Juicy Couture and Frederick of Hollywood brands, also talks to Barney's & # 39; Boston landlord Simon properties to keep the store open, this person adds.
Any deal to save the Madison Avenue location would require Barneys to give up as many as six of its 10 floors, this person said.
ABG and Toronto-based Hudson's Bay Group, which owns Saks, have emerged as the leading bidders for the high-end retailer, which filed for bankruptcy protection on August 6 and has until October 24 to find a buyer and avoid liquidation.
Scissors and the ABG binding, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, will be presented for approval at a hearing Tuesday.  Despite plans to keep as many as three Barneys locations open for business, some of Barney's staff cried Monday and are pleased they would lose the job after word of the deal leaked, an insider said. Some executives urged employees to "start looking for other jobs," while several employees from the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters sneaked out on the day to take a commission at a local watering hole, according to the source.
The Madison Avenue store, known for its edgy window displays, has taken to decorating the store in large black and white signs showing the light of the embarrassing bankruptcy.
"Not closed," blared a large sign. "Barneys till dead dead," declared another as a voice recording from a British-accented woman who reminded passersby that the department store is still open for business.
"Strut, strut, strut, we're still here. We still have clothes," the recording announced. "The Internet was a failure. The emperor still has clothes."
If ABG is able to keep a handful of stores open – for reduced rents – stores could close for about a week after the holiday when the current stock is liquidated, sources of the situation told The Post.
"Madison Avenue would close and possibly reopen," depending on the lease, the source said. Closing the stores – and then re-opening them – could give the brand a fresh start, the source added.
A week ago, the leading boutique was fashion retailer Sam Ben-Avraham, who has been trying to raise $ 220 million in funding There have also been reports that Gary Wassner, head of the factor company Hilldun Corp., is interested in talks with lenders from Barney's Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial to buy the big store he has had a long profession in
ABG and the Saks agreement appear to be the closest thing to do, the source with knowledge of the talks tells The Post.
Alexandra Steigard contributed to this story