If it's ever occurred to you that Pacific Place retailers do a good job of keeping their stores fresh, part of that is due to the mall itself, which mandates remodels every ten years. Even though Barneys New York hasn't been a Pacific Place player for a decade, internal forces are pushing a refresh anyway.

Will this staircase, created by Seattle Stair & Design, be intact when the Barneys New York spring remodel is complete?

Store visual director Jodi Davis and assistant manager Matthew McDonald say that starting April 1, crews will go through the high-end department store section by section, cordoning off small areas to work on.

I'm not even going to relay a target finish date in this post; construction and remodel projects are just too weird to pin down. But once things are complete, one big change will be with women's collections.

As the store is set now, women's designer collections (Dries, the Row, et al) are downstairs, and the less expensive Co-Op section (Barneys' lingo for lines like Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, and their own Co-Op label) is upstairs. With the remodel, all of women's will be upstairs. It's a subtle but meaningful shift; the line between fine clothing and really great stuff is easing, suggesting shoppers want to be able to move easily between one and the other. Or, that corporate wants them to.

The store shift will bring in more merchandise, not less—most notably: Co-Op shoes for women. Yes! Men have always had that option in the downtown store, now women do, too.

The remodel will bring more parties and events, too. Stay posted, we'll let you know about the festivities. (Hint: they'll include Simon.)

I can't help but think of the recent changes across the street. Nordstrom's Forever 21-like change-up of their Savvy section—which sits outside their designer section and their Via C section (a Co-Op equivalent)—feels like a totally different reaction to a totally different issue. Still, retailers seem to be rethinking floor plans in fairly dramatic ways.

Dramatic, at least, in the framework of buying and selling pants and shirts. What's your take on all this?

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