Century 21 plans to relaunch in summer — outside of the United States.
The legendary New York off-price retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in September and liquidated its 13 stores as sales plunged amid the pandemic, is readying a comeback that will include stores and the relaunch of its e-commerce site.
Following Chapter 21’s bankruptcy, the Gindi family, which had owned and operated the chain for 60 years, bought back the intellectual property of the brand. As the first step in its revival, Century 21 will open a 100,000-sq.-ft. store in Busan, Korea, in early summer 2021. It will be the brand’s first-ever store in Korea and is part of a pre-pandemic plan. (Women’s Wear Daily reported that the store is licensed to a retail operator.). The company said that further global expansion and the relaunch of the brand in New York and across the country will be announced in the coming weeks.
Century 21’s relaunch and expansion will be overseen by retail veteran Marc Benitez, who has been named president. The former Authentic Brands, Coach and Kenneth Cole executive is not new to the brand — Benitez began his retail career at Century 21 more than 20 years ago in the children's department of the flagship downtown New York location.
"I have always admired Century 21 and the values upon which it was founded and continue to guide it today, " said Benitez. "Rejoining at this stage and being a part of the future expansion with the Gindis is a humbling opportunity for which I am grateful. Century 21 has the type of brand loyalty that others dream of and we cannot wait to bring things back for existing fans as we make new ones."