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05/17/2022

Century 21 to make NYC comeback

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Century 21 will reopen its legendary flagship in downtown Manhattan.

Century 21 is poised to return to the Big Apple — and to a very familiar location.

The off-price retailer will reopen at its legendary flagship location on Cortland Street in downtown Manhattan, across from the site of the World Trade Center. Century 21 closed the flagship and its 12 other stores when the company declared bankruptcy in 2020.

The retailer, a pioneer in the development of the off-price department store, is opening the store in partnership with Legends, a “premium experience” company that oversees retail and hospitality operations at locations that include the MLB flagship and Yankee Stadium in New York City. According to a release, the re-opened location will “remain true” to Century 21’s DNA,” offering designer brands at “amazing prices. It will also offer a more “streamlined” shopping experience, with in-store upgrades and an elevated online presence.

The store will span the four main floors of the original space, with men’s, women’s and children’s designer apparel, footwear, outerwear, handbags, accessories and fragrances. (The previous flagship spanned seven floors.) In another change, Century 21 is adding NYC to its brand logo to reflect its Big Apple roots.

The company plans to relaunch its website the day the store opens.

“Century 21 is, and always will be, a New York City brand,” said Raymond Gindi, Century 21 co-CEO. “Our flagship store has been a long-time symbol of this city’s resilience and unwavering spirit. We could not be more excited to bring Century 21 back home, delivering the same products and value to customers, in partnership with Legends.”

Century 21 Stores will continue to be run by the Gindi family, which founded the business some 60 years ago. Following the company’s bankruptcy, the family bought back the intellectual property of the brand for $9 million.

Founded in 2008, Legends has six divisions worldwide: global planning, global sales, global partnerships, hospitality, global merchandise, and global technology solutions. It offers data and analytics and helps clients design and plan experiences in sports, retail and entertainment. It has operated brick and mortar, pop-ups, e-commerce and in-venue retail experiences for many brands and events.

Legends will provide its omnichannel operating expertise to Century 21 and will handle logistics, ticketing and store operations including hiring selling associates, cashiers and others, as well as providing systems, including IT and point-of-sale, reported Women’s Wear Daily.

“Legends is proud to partner with Century 21 to bring the beloved retail experience back to New York City,” said Dan Smith, president, Legends Hospitality. “Working side by side with the Century 21 team, we have enhanced the in-store. and e-commerce experience and are excited to ‘open the doors’ to a global audience in 2023.”