Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Barneys CEO: ‘Single digits’ the new black


The U.S. economy’s funk is felt even in the luxury temples of fashion, the CEO of Barneys New York says.

 ”The economic downturn, unfortunately, is going to affect everybody,” Chief Executive Howard Socol told Reuters at the cocktail party launch of Donatella Versace’s menswear line at the Barneys New York store at 61st and Madison.

Known for cutting-edge fashion, Barneys is the first department store to exclusively offer Versace’s menswear 2008 collection. Previously, the line was available only in Versace boutiques.

 ”For 4-1/2 years, we’ve been in the mega-double digits,” Socol said, referring to percentage gains in sales growth. “Now we’re happy with single digits.”