Not Barneys Being Turned Into a Halloween Store

Not Barneys Being Turned Into a Halloween Store

by Ana Escalante

New York was never exactly dead during the pandemic — but the new plastic skeletons sitting on former Barneys New York shelves sure are.

In the true spirit of the city, alongside sewer rats and screaming patrons on the MTA, a former Barneys store in its fancy old Chelsea location is being turned into a... Spirit Halloween, of all things.

The famous department store shut its doors early last year after filing for bankruptcy in 2019 (the flagship location a few blocks uptown also closed down). Since then, the downtown location, known for its white halls and spiral center staircase has remained mostly empty, sitting on the market for a starting price of a whopping $40 million.

Now, Spirit Halloween, a seasonal national chain where you can find latex gloves, itchy neon bob wigs and spooky decor, has set up camp in the old Barneys Chelsea locale. Although the move is temporary — most Spirit Halloweens are only around for a few months to remind us all it's Christian Girl Autumn — it feels like a reflection of our current spiraling mental health.

Even before COVID-19 decimated both big-box retailers and mom-and-pop shops, department stores were struggling. After failing to catch-up to fast fashion brands and an evolving e-commerce landscape, it's no surprise the pandemic wiped out names like Barneys, Lord & Taylor and Henri Bendel.

R.I.P to a legend. You would have hated what capitalism did with the place.

Photo via Getty