Century 21 Department Store Reopening - Century 21, the discount store New Yorkers know and love, will reopen for several weeks at its popular Lower Manhattan store in the shadow of the World Trade Center.
It was also where business was hit hardest by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which became emotional during and after 9/11.
Century 21 Department Store Reopening
The warehouse was moved after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and the interior was badly damaged by the collapse of the Twin Towers.
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Initially it was not agreed that the store should be rebuilt, but the owners decided to stay in the same location and the store was renovated and opened on 28 February 2002, five months after the attacks.
Thousands of people wait for hours on opening morning to receive a receipt for that day's sales.
Then the store struggled to survive in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing it to file for bankruptcy and close its Downtown store and 12 other locations between October and December 2020.
Store officials said the decision was made after insurers refused to pay nearly $175 million for 21st Century Protection policies for losses incurred during the pandemic.
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Several months later, store officials announced that Century 21 would reopen in 2021, an operation that has been on hold until now.
"This is not your typical comeback story," the store's president, Marc Benitez, said at the time. "As we begin this new chapter, we will look closely at every aspect of the business - from the location to the experience many know as the joy of hunting," he said.
Benitez said the plan will include opening stores outside the United States for the first time and opening a store in New York.
The reopened Cortlandt Street location will span the four main floors of the former downtown location and will offer men's, women's and children's clothing, footwear, outerwear, handbags, accessories and fragrances.
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Every New Yorker in the 21st century, says the store's vice president, whether it's finding the perfect suit or a dress that's sure to please everyone at a party—and all at an affordable price. And if you don't have a 21st century story, you'll get your chance next week when a beloved retailer opens its doors in Lower Manhattan.
After closing and filing for bankruptcy in 2020 amid the pandemic, the store will reopen its Cortland Street flagship store on Tuesday, May 16 at We got a sneak peek at the store before it opened and rounded up some Century 21 items to make the most of your shopping experience.
With 100,000 square feet spread over four floors, this store at 22 Cortland Street is a shopper's paradise. The new flagship reopened in the exact same location as its predecessor, opposite the World Trade Center. Before the pandemic, the Manhattan store on the South Side received a single day of 12,000,000-15,000 shoppers, according to Teresa Rodriguez, Century 21 NYC's assistant director of marketing.
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From the basement level you will find shoes, luggage and children's clothes. On the main floor, there are large handbags (including YSL and Louis Vuitton), sunglasses (including Raybans), perfumes and belts. Continue up the escalator and you'll reach the women's level at two, then the men's level at three. Rodriguez calls it a "big treasure hunt in the store."
Brands include Fendi, Chloe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Halston, Cult Gaia, Kensie, Ecco, Vince, Camper, Kappa, Obey, Hugo Boss, Fila, Moschino, Michael Kors and others. Additionally, there is a showcase of artists emerging and working in New York including Blank, Suburban Riot, BIG, N. Philanthropy and DH New York. The list of artists changes frequently.
These dealer relationships have been a priority since the 21st century began in the early 1960s. The Gindi family opened the store just before the World's Fair was to come to New York City. The founders of Century 21 wanted to help New Yorkers live better by selling designer goods at low prices.Teretailers focus on well-known products that you can find at full price at other retailers; that trend continues today.
Over the years, 21st Century has expanded to a total of 14 stores, all of which were closed during the pandemic. The only time the flagship store closed was during the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the store was damaged.
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While the store is now open again, Rodriguez sees it as a return to normal, especially since many brick and mortar stores have closed. The updated store has a slightly different logo, removing the words "branch store" and adding "NYC."
The doors open on Tuesday, May 16 at 12 p.m., in addition to shopping, check out NYC-themed food, art by fashion designer Izak Zenou, a special NYC design station, and a photo booth inspired. Get there early for specials and sales.
If the store is as busy as it was before the pandemic, you'll want these hacks to make your shopping experience easier.
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