Century 21 Reopens as Century 21 NYC

About two hours after Century 21 in lower Manhattan reopened as Century 21 NYC on Tuesday, the store’s POS system crashed.

“This shows they should never have gone out of business,” said Denise Danny, 58, of Staten Island. With a shopping cart full of clothes, Danny stood in line at the checkout on the second floor of the department store. “When it was this crowded on the first day of the grand opening, I knew people were missing out on Century 21.”

The retailer, beloved for offering discounts on designer brands, has declared bankruptcy and closed all of its stores, leaving it off the city’s shopping map, along with other big-name department stores such as Abraham & Strauss and Barney’s. It disappeared less than three years ago.

At the time, Century 21 had 13 locations in four states. But perhaps none were more popular than the flagship store on Cortland Street in the financial district. The store was opened in 1961 by two cousins, Al Jindy and Samuel Jindy, better known as Sonny.

After closing in September 2020, the flagship store was vacant as the company, then run by second-generation owners Raymond, IG, Isaac and Eddie Jindy, still had a long-term lease for the space. rice field. In late 2020, Guindis acquired Century 21 Intellectual Property Teresa Rodriguez, vice president of marketing for Century 21 New York, said the company went into bankruptcy in hopes of eventually reviving the business.

Long-time customers may find the new Cortland Street store, which occupies four floors, to be more intimate than its predecessor, which occupied seven floors. You’ll also notice that it has a new logo along with a new name. The inventory in the store has also changed slightly. Currently includes the following vintage bags: two certifiersis a company that finds and authenticates previously owned luxury goods sold through retail outlets such as Century 21 NYC.

Mayor Eric Adams delivered a speech before the store opened to the public on Tuesday morning, making the first purchases of the day. He bought a blue Eaton dress shirt for $129.99, less than half the list price of $275.

By the time the first customers entered around 11:30, the entire building was in line. “I’ve been waiting for this day to come because I’m a Century shopper and have been a Century shopper for years,” said Gina Strachan, 83, of Brooklyn. (She called Ms. Strachan, like her other longtime customers, by the name of her store for short.)

The first floor, which sells accessories such as fragrances, sunglasses, and bags, quickly became full. Many shoppers were drawn to the center of the floor, where salespeople with keys stood by locked display cases full of Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Gucci purses.

At 12:30, the cash register line was long and the escalator was crowded. Those who had arrived early were already on their way home, and some, including Jamuz Putra, were empty-handed. Putra, 27, from Manhattan, came looking for items from Balenciaga and Vetements, hoping to resell them for a profit. “I missed it here,” Putra said, adding that he hadn’t found anything to resell, but that he plans to return.

When the point-of-sale system went down around 1:30 p.m. that day, the lines grew longer and chaos ensued as employees urged people to be patient. Security guards barred new customers from entering, and lines began to form again outside the store. Employees took advantage of the lull to refill empty racks and rearrange fallen displays.

By 2:30 p.m., the cash register was fully operational and shoppers were limping in again. On the basement floor, which sells shoes, children’s clothing and luggage, men and women load their purchases into suitcases before heading up a crowded escalator to explain they’ll be on time for their flight.

On the ground floor, Manhattan resident Vladimir Zullo, 61, stopped and posed on a small red carpet set up where people took pictures. While another customer snaps a picture, the two have a short conversation about things like their excitement about reopening the store before heading off to do their own shopping.

Zullo said he and his wife, who will move to the Czech Republic in October after 15 years in New York, are happy to be able to shop at Century 21 again before leaving New York. He added that he had family visiting in June and plans to take them to the store.

Perusing a selection of perfumes, Anna Evans said her love for Century 21 isn’t just about the sale. Evans, 37, from Manhattan, said the store was a big part of her childhood.

“It’s very nostalgic,” she said. “We’ve been waiting for years to reopen.”

After looking around for a bit, Evans said he had the impression that the new store was “not as good” as before. But she added, “I’m just getting started, so I need a little more time.”

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