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Is Barneys Closing Its CO-OP Stores?

Barneys New York recently revamped e-commerce site, launched an online outlet (Barneyswarehouse.com) and plans to end its bi-annual Manhattan sample sale next season—but the changes won't stop there. Rumors have been flying around that the company plans to soon shutter its CO-OP branches, the more affordable off-shoots dedicated to contemporary designers, nationwide.

It was reported in WWD yesterday that two of the chain's largest CO-OP outposts (one on the Upper West Side of New York and one at the Grove in L.A.) will be closed by this summer and re-opened as regular Barneys locations. According to the daily's sources, this is just the beginning of a massive faze out and re-branding strategy.

So, what does this mean for us humble shoppers? Not necessarily bad things—try to think of it as a streamlining rather than elimination process. Those lower-priced lines that CO-OP is known for will still be available, just at a differently named store and mixed in with luxury goods; so, like, rather than house Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc in two separate places, both selections will be under one roof. The only major uncertainly lies with the CO-OP label itself, an in-house collection that includes budget-friendly versions of Barney's pricier pieces. Will that disappear, too...or just be re-named?

Stay tuned for updates!

image via Fashion Week Daily

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