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Famed NYC off-price retailer Century 21 reopens flagship

Century 21’s legendary flagship is located in downtown Manhattan.
Century 21’s legendary flagship is located in downtown Manhattan.

An iconic off-price department store that declared bankruptcy and liquidated its stores in 2020 is poised for its comeback.

Century 21, known for selling high-end designer fashions at steep discounts, has reopened its legendary flagship on Cortland Street in downtown Manhattan. The retailer teased the opening on its Instagram page, posting “We know you’ve been patiently waiting. Your favorite red bag is coming back. May 16.”

The Gindi family, which owned, operated and founded Century 21, bought back the intellectual property of the chain during the bankruptcy process for $9 million along with a silent partner. The business is now owned by IG Gindi, Raymond Gindi and two cousins, Eddie and Isaac Gindi.

In May 2022, the company said it planned to reopen the Manhattan flagship 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. Legends will handle technology, store operations and logistics.

At 100,000 sq.-ft., the reopened store is smaller than its previous iteration, and offer a more “streamlined” shopping experience, according to the retailer. It spans four floors instead of the previous seven.


Alongside the relaunch, Century 21 unveild an updated logo, with "NYC" replacing "Department Stores" in celebration of the brand's birthplace and re-imagined flagship.

Century 21 began business in 1961. Its 220,000-sq.-ft., seven-floor in flagship lower Manhattan, opposite the World Trade Center site, has long been one of the city’s major retail and tourist destinations. So popular in fact that Trip Advisor site calls a visit to the store as one of the “Top Things To Do in New York City.” 

"The amount of love, passion and excitement since announcing that we are coming back has brought an energy to downtown Manhattan and we are so excited to be reopening at our original location with a focus on the designer-fashion apparel and accessories that has been a core part of our business from the start, said Raymond Gindi, co-CEO. 

 Century 21 tapped NYC-based artist Timothy Goodman to create three  larger-than-life murals using objects and words that accentuate the retailer's place in NYC''s fashion scene.  Taking cues from the city's culture, boroughs, landmarks, fashion and NYC icons such as bridges, subways, taxis, music, food, accessories and Century 21's iconic shopping bags, the  murals highlight Goodman's signature style of bold art and language.

The store suffered heavy structural damage during the terrorist attack on Sept. 11 and was closed for some six months while undergoing repairs, which cost the company a reported $10 million. The reopening of the store was seen as a sign of the beginning of the rebirth of downtown Manhattan after the attack.


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