Barneys Unwrapped

Caroline    December 4, 2017

The holiday season is upon us, this time of year is typically the peak selling period for many department stores. In an environment where consumers are increasing their purchases made on-line and by mobile shopping, I wondered whether in a challenged department store industry if one would have a social media strategy specifically for this peak selling season as part of their Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas.


Barneys New York is an American luxury department store. With over a million followers on Instagram and Facebook and close to half a million followers on Twitter, Barneys has created a strong presence on social media. According to an article on, Barneys New York posts an average of 3.8 posts per day on Instagram and also receives the most engagement on the platform which is 2.5K per post , more than 60X their average engagement from both Facebook and Twitter. Given their level of activity and engagement on Instagram it is not surprising that this is the social media platform used for “Barneys Unwrapped”.

As part of their social media strategy, this holiday season Barneys is running a daily social media contest #BarneysUnwrapped. #BarneysUnwrapped is fun and easy to play. New “Unwrapped” gifts will be posted each morning, giving followers a chance to win every day from December 4 to 9, on Instagram. Some of the items included in the contest are Gucci sunglasses($1,240), Sidney Garber earrings($4,950), and a Delvaux bag($5,900).

Every day this week: Play ‘Barneys Unwrapped to WIN some of our favorite Barneys gifts! Here’s how this game works:
1. Like this post and leave a comment on this post sharing which mystery Barneys gift box—X or Z—you’d like to win (there’s a prize hidden in each one). 2. You must follow @BarneysNY to enter to win.
3. Entries on this post close at 9pm ET tonight.

We’ll be announcing today’s winner this evening and sharing what you won by unboxing BOTH mystery gifts. Click the link in our bio for the full #BarneysUnwrappedsweepstakes rules.
Video by @mason.poole and @_nanutfeaturing illustrations by @thehaasbrothers.

According to an article in “Barneys’ holiday season strategy is based on establishing a more direct relationship with customers — something that brand partners have been seeking — as well as offering exclusive items that can’t be found elsewhere. Most of the gifts that were chosen for the giveaways are exclusive to Barneys, and participating brands were chosen for their buzzy status.”

The contest is promoted across all of the social media platforms used by Barneys.

Lessons for Others

Adding unique social media strategies like #BarneysUnwrapped to your organizations Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas can boost current  and potential customer engagement during peak sales period.


Organization: Barneys New York
Industry: Fashion
Name of Organization Contact:

Authored by: Caroline

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.