Barneys workers describe theft, working conditions as free for all – Business Insider

For beleaguered Barneys employees, nearly a week without pay was just the latest incident in a series of frustrating events  that have occurred in recent months amid a chaotic liquidation process. 

According to four Barneys employees interviewed by Business Insider on the basis of anonymity in order to protect their jobs, conditions at the 7th Avenue store in New York City have devolved significantly since the department store’s bankruptcy and subsequent acquisition by Authentic Brands Group. The employees — who have worked for the luxury department store in durations ranging from one to four years — reported that understaffed floors have contributed to growing rates of theft, leading to an estimated thousands of dollars’ worth of loss.

During a visit to the liquidating store on Wednesday afternoon, employees were seen milling about aimlessly among bare shelves and displays of haphazardly strewn products. Malaise was palpable among team members, many of whom expressed frustration over delayed paychecks caused by a “cyber incident” Friday that left them unpaid for nearly a week. Employees said they were paid on Thursday morning. 

Meanwhile, a lack of functioning WiFi due to the incident has caused internal systems to malfunction, preventing employees from tracking hours and sales. With the system down, the 7th Avenue store had to manually force registers open on Tuesday, causing a two-hour delay in opening, one employee who has worked in the men’s shoes department for four years said. 

“It’s been a mess, just a mess,” this employee said. “It’s upsetting. Nobody wants to work and not get paid. Especially under these circumstances, the last thing you want to do is not get paid.”

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An employee walks down 18th Street with a promotional sign strapped to his body.
Bethany Biron/Business Insider


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