Yesterday afternoon, I received an urgent message from my neighbor who edits Racked NY. Barneys New York CO-OP was indeed setting up shop on Atlantic Avenue in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, just blocks away from my house! The store is scheduled to open the second week in September, just in time for Fashion's Night Out.
One of the reasons I love living in the Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens area of the borough is that the shopping is good. We've got our own Steven Alan annex, an outpost of mini chain Bird--known for stocking plenty of my favorite contemporary labels, from Acne to Isabel Marant--and Eva Gentry's boutique, which was originally called Butter. It sells lots of Rick Owens, Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester.
It'll be interesting to see which brands the CO-OP stocks in this particular satellite store. Atlantic Avenue, while it certainly has the clientele to support a Barneys, is still an interesting choice. I had my bets on Williamsburg for the retailer's first Brooklyn outpost. I suppose the median age of someone who lives in Carroll Gardens--34--and average household income--$86,056--had something to do with it.
Barneys has endured quite a bit of financial turmoil over the last couple of years, so from a strategic standpoint, opening new shops at this moment seems like a pretty insane idea. However, the retailer told WWD that its sales have been up for three consecutive months: 7% in January, 11% in February and over 20% in March. And apparently, Web sales are up 50% year-over-year. These numbers have given the retail the courage to press on.
And as a consumer, I have to admit, I'm pretty excited about Barneys in Brooklyn. I don't do a ton of shopping at Barneys CO-OP, but I have made some big purchases there since I moved to New York at the end of 2005. Now, I have one more excuse not to go into "the city" on weekends.