>> Changes are afoot at Barneys, and it's not just involving Target merchandise on the Co-op floor. The man credited with restoring the store to top-tier stature after bankruptcy in the late '90s, CEO Howard Socol, is expected to quit as early as this week.
Mr. Socol has been with the company since 2001, but disagrees with the chain's new owners, Istithmar, who since their takeover in August have been spearheading an aggressive international expansion. Mr. Socol's business strategy at the company focused more on landing exclusives with hot labels and capitalizing on the contemporary market.
The original plan when Istithmar bought Barneys was for Mr. Socol and the new owners to work together on his replacement so that he could leave a year later. The early bail is brought on because of the aggressive expansion timetable put in place, the helter-skelter choice of future Barneys locations, and the new owners' lack of communication. Socol doesn't have a new job currently lined up.
I wonder how this will affect the Barneys we know and love . . .