Barneys stiffs staff and loyal customers after bankruptcy filing

For a luxury retailer, Barneys is proving quite cheap.

The department store chain, which was just sold off to a brand licensing company in bankruptcy, is being accused of short-changing employees and once-loyal customers as it winds down its remaining stores, sources told The Post.

Hundreds of staffers who were laid off at the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters on Nov. 6 were stiffed on their unused vacation days and denied severance if they worked for the company for under two years, sources said.

“A lot of people didn’t take their vacation days because they were trying to save the company,” one former executive fumed to The Post. “It’s really abysmal how the employees were treated.”

The company’s meager severance policy was limited to one week’s pay for every two years of service, a formula that was capped at five weeks, former employees told The Post. Staffers who worked less than two years at the company got zilch, sources added.

Meanwhile, customers who failed to spot a tiny smattering of articles informing the public that Nov. 7 was the last day to redeem gift cards were shocked to learn over the weekend that the money on their cards was worthless.

“There was no information on Barneys’ website or on the telephone recording at Barneys’ flagship store about the gift cards,” one longtime customer griped to The Post.

“This is theft,” said the Manhattan resident, who lost $100 on her gift card.

“Since Barneys is closing, I figured I better use my @BarneysNY gift card, but apparently Nov. 7th was the last day to do that. Probably could’ve only bought one glove with it, but still. Lame,” another irritated customer tweeted Monday.

The gift card deadline was set by the bankruptcy judge a mere seven days earlier on Nov. 1, which bankruptcy experts say is unusually short notice.

“Practically speaking, seven days is extremely quick and really not meaningful notice,” bankruptcy attorney Eric Snyder of Wilk Auslander told The Post.

Authentic Brands Group, which bought Barneys for $271.4 million, said it’s not involved in the wind down of the current operations and referred The Post query to B. Riley, the company handling Barneys store closing sales.

But a spokesperson for B. Riley said it was “not involved in the company’s communications with its customers,” and that the seven days’ notice was a court-ordered decision.

B. Riley referred questions about employees’ severance pay to Barneys legal advisers, Kirkland Ellis, which declined requests for comment.

The nearly century-old Big Apple retailer filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 6 after several years of struggling sales, and a rent hike at its flagship store on Madison Avenue, where the rent nearly doubled this year to $30 million.

The retailer had long been the ‘it’ store for cutting-edge fashion, and where many designers, including Giorgio Armani, were discovered. But it lost its way over the past decade during an aggressive expansion plan that diluted Barneys exclusivity, and an expensive renovation at its Madison Avenue flagship store.

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