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Friday, June 18, 2021

Century 21 is plotting a comeback in the US and NYC

Century 21 is stitching collectively a comeback bid.

The 60-year-old retailer — whose decrease Manhattan flagship famously survived the 9/11 terrorist assaults, solely to be shuttered final fall as the coronavirus pressured the company out of business — is plotting a return to its hometown of New York City, in addition to a nationwide enlargement that would consequence in a footprint that’s larger than earlier than.

The iconic division retailer final September filed for Chapter 11, citing a authorized dispute with an insurance coverage company over its business-interruption claims. The shock transfer shuttered 13 shops in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, and shocked generations of bargain-minded fashionistas who flocked to its areas for deep reductions on designer duds from Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga.

Now, after buying the company’s mental property for $9 million in December, the founding Gindi household is seeing alternatives amid a COVID-19 disaster that has devastated retailers and landlords alike, in keeping with business insiders.

“Plans for the US are very much underway as we speak,” Marc Benitez, the newly appointed president of the company, advised The Post in a Monday interview. “We are looking at both bricks and mortar and an e-commerce strategy.”

Last week, Century 21 introduced a deal to open its first-ever retailer in South Korea, hinting at a broader plan to reopen shops in the US as nicely.

But on Monday, Benitez — a veteran of Coach and Kenneth Cole who was tapped as president in December — mentioned the Big Apple is a “priority” as Century 21 plans its return. Indeed, Century 21 might see itself transferring to thirty fourth (*21*), the place Macy’s has held court docket for greater than a 120 years, he mentioned.

Benitez declined to elaborate on particular areas or on a timeframe for Century 21’s New York ambitions. Prime retail areas which have not too long ago gone empty embrace the anchor house in the Manhattan Mall throughout West thirty fourth (*21*) from Macy’s, which was vacated in July by JCPenney.

“The goal is to have some presence in the US this year,” Benitez advised The Post. “We are simply in the process of putting a strategy together that could include expanding beyond our previous bricks and mortar footprint.” 

Before Century 21 went underneath, Benitez mentioned, its e-commerce business which had solely been round for a few years was rising by “double-digits” and had skilled its largest spike in development in 2020. It was a “much needed component” to the business, he added.

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