Department Store Chain Century 21 Returning to New York

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Department store Century 21 plans to return to New York, the company announced on its website. 

The classic New York City department store chain, known for its designer deals, went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 and announced that it would permanently close all 13 of its stores in September.

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But now, it’s announcing a comeback. “Never count out a New Yorker,” its statement said. 

Century 21’s return will start in South Korea, with a store in Busan set to open in 2021, where the company had planned a location prior to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement. 

Founded by the Gindi family in 1961 with a single store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Century 21 into a fixture in the city, with locations in Downtown Brooklyn, the Financial District and the Upper West Side. 

In September, it filed for bankruptcy after its insurance companies refused to cover $175 million in losses sustained during COVID-19 shutdowns, the company said at the time. 

Now, the Gindi family has purchased the Century 21 intellectual property out of bankruptcy and hired Marc Benitez to oversee its new beginning, per the statement. The details for a stateside comeback have not been finalized. 

To make matters even more more quintessentially New York, Benitez, who previously worked in international business development for Coach and Kenneth Cole, started his retail career at Century 21 two decades ago. 

“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,” he said in a prepared statement.