Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Barneys New York announced that it's reached an agreement with the company's largest lender, Perry Capital, its sponsor, Istithmar World, and certain of its other lenders to significantly reduce the company's debt and improve its capital structure. The transaction provides Barneys with significant financial flexibility to prioritize its investment in its operations and grow the business. As part of the agreement, Perry Capital and The Yucaipa Companies have partnered to convert debt for equity in order to reduce Barneys' long-term debt from $590 million to $50 million. As a result, Perry Capital has become the majority owner of Barneys.

Sears quietly added all nine of its Great Indoors stores to the list of store closings on Feb. 23. Store managers were informed last week, a Sears spokeswoman confirmed, but no exact date has been given for the closings. 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Sears, a name that comes to mind when thinking of places to fix the car or shop for tools, will soon be associated with travel thanks to a new partnership with International Cruise & Excursions Inc. The agreement will create Sears Vacations, which will provide unique leisure vacation experiences, primarily through an online platform, will give customers the opportunity to opt-in to receive exclusive offers and extraordinary values on travel and vacation packages, the companies said. According to a press release, Sears Vacations are geared to toward customers looking for family-centric vacations at a good price.

Broader economic warning signs — including a persistently high unemployment rate — have yet to slow down the recovery in retail sales. As a result, demand for retail space continues to grow and new concepts, of which there were few to be found at the depths of the recession, have re-emerged.

Irvine, Calif. -- KTGY Group, Architecture and Planning, said that Diane's Beachwear will be opening its newest store in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the Scottsdale Quarter in early March. The new 1,200-sq.-ft. flagship store represents the 19-store chain's debut outside of California. KTGY is the architect for the new Diane's Beachwear store. Skyline Development and Construction of Norco, Calif., is the general contractor. Diane's Beachwear will join retailers A/X Armani Exchange, west elm, Williams-Sonoma Home, H&M, Nike, Apple and iPic Theaters at the Scottsdale Quarter.

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