Sam Ben-Avraham, the KITH co-founder behind a public bid to save Barneys, has pulled out of the running to acquire the storied New York City retailer. On an Instagram account called @thespiritofbarney, formerly @savebarneys, Ben-Avraham explained the difficult decision.

“Last night after two months of working around the clock, my team and I had to make the hardest decision we could have imagined: to pull out of the race and not go to court this morning,” the post says. “This was one of the hardest decisions I have made in my life thus far. My team and I still feel very strongly about Barneys: what it stands for and what it could mean in the future. We believe it has its place in New York’s landscape and beyond.”

On Thursday, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Barneys’ assets to Authentic Brands Group. Under the deal, most of the stores are likely to close, and ABG has already agreed to license the Barneys name to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Ben-Avraham went on to explain why he and his team had to pull out: “Unfortunately, we failed to convince enough people in the business community that it made economic sense to keep Barney’s alive. Some unexpected road blocks were put in our way. We understood from the beginning that looking at spreadsheets and numbers, it did not make sense but we saw a future beyond that. We knew that once we overcame that hurdle there would be light at the end of the tunnel. I apologize if I have failed anyone, and gave anyone false hope by not being able to close the deal. I know this chapter is about be be over and not the way I wished or imagined. I hope something greater will come from It.”

View this post on Instagram

Dear Family, Last night after two months of working around the clock, my team and I had to make the hardest decision we could have imagined: to pull out of the race and not go to court this morning. This was one of the hardest decisions I have made in my life thus far. My team and I still feel very strongly about Barneys: what it stands for and what it could mean in the future. We believe it has its place in New York’s landscape and beyond. During the process we were fortunate to meet a lot of amazing people who joined our team and gave everything they had to save this New York institution. Unfortunately, we failed to convince enough people in the business community that it made economic sense to keep Barneys alive. Some unexpected road blocks were put in our way. We understood from the beginning that looking at spreadsheets and numbers, it did not make sense but we saw a future beyond that. We knew that once we overcame that hurdle there would be light at the end of the tunnel. I apologize if I have failed anyone, and gave anyone false hope by not being able to close the deal. I know this chapter is about be be over and not the way I wished or imagined. I hope something greater will come from It. I want to thank my team who gave the fight of their lives and haven’t slept for the past two months. To all the people who believed in the dream and kept us going beyond the imagination. To all Barney’s family members who we met personally and the ones we met virtually and made us feel part of the family in that very short period. I wish I could do more. The stores might be gone but the spirit will live forever. Cheers to the life of Barneys. – Sam

A post shared by THE SPIRIT BARNEY (@thespiritofbarney) on Nov 1, 2019 at 7:24am PDT



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