An interesting update in the Barneys bankruptcy story. Online ‘marketplace’ Farfetch is apparently in the frame to buy the store, negotiations which were already taking place before the news was announced of Barneys’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to the New York Post.
Why this is interesting. Farfetch is an example of a very modern retail concept. Its USP places equal value on online and bricks-and-mortar, aggregating product from its coterie of 400 global boutiques and stores to ship anywhere online. It gives global visibility to farflung boutiques and vintage stores, seamlessly powers the fulfillment process, and regularly unveils new initiatives, such as its Vestiaire Collective-style resale microsite, Second life.
On the bricks-and-mortar side, Farfetch is an advocate of letting the sales staff do what they do best; sell and advise. It owns a suite of cutting edge digital tools that serve an ‘augmented retail’ model. Translation: using customers’ digital data to offer a personalised service that links online and offline purchase behaviour. We wrote about this ‘Store of the ‘Future’ concept here.
If Farfetch was to buy Barneys, it could implement some of its futuristic online-offline retail initiatives in one of the world’s most famous stores. And potentially demonstrate how the future of physical retail can really succeed.
Barneys declined to comment on its discussions with Farfetch.
UPDATE: Farfetch has denied everything. *Weeps*
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Jean-Philippe Delhomme
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DISCLOSURE: I have worked with Farfetch in the past