FN's Private Eyes

Our secret shoppers infiltrate six major department stores.

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Barneys New York, New York

Location/date/time: 660 Madison Ave.; Wednesday, July 1; 3 p.m.
The environment: There were a lot more directional offerings and some brands you don’t find in many other stores. I was surprised that the sale racks literally blocked my way when I got off the escalator on the
fourth floor. About two feet from where I exited I was face to face with large and disorganized shoe racks.
Number of salespeople/customers: 10; 20
Prevalent brands: Christian Louboutin, Costume National, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Prada, Balenciaga, Vero Cuoio.
Styles on display: Ankle boots, ultra-high heels, sandals and cowboy boots.
Trend watch: Many of the styles featured special treatments, such as rhinestones, grommets, tassels or wood
heels. The shoe styles sold here are for those who definitely want to make a statement with their footwear.
The service: It was very hard to tell who the salespeople were since they were wearing more casual clothes — not suits — and they did not have name tags. But a welldressed saleswoman approached me soon after I started browsing and gave me great assistance.
Yes, we have it: They had three of the four of the boots I wanted in my size.
Most expensive: A Christian Louboutin yellow crocodile pump for $4,600.
Least expensive: The Barneys brand sandals, on sale for less than $200.
It’s a steal: Shoes in this section were marked down significantly, and then were selling for another 25 percent off.
Top pick: A Marc Jacobs boot that felt great and looked like it would go well with skirts and pants.
Lasting impression: Very fashion-forward shoes that won’t be found at other stores, but some might be a little too directional and seemed like they’d be highly uncomfortable.


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