The 21st century is a simultaneous return bid.
The 60-year-old retailer – whose lower Manhattan flagship survived the 9/11 terrorist attack, shut down only last fall as coronovirus forced the company into bankruptcy – plotting to return to its hometown of New York City , As well as a nationwide expansion, which may be larger than before.
The iconic department store filed for Chapter 11 last September citing a legal dispute with an insurance company over its business-disruption claims. Surprisingly, it closed 13 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, and shocked generations of bargaining fashionistas who flocked to their locations for deep discounts on designer duos from Gucci, Prada and Ballencaga .
According to industry insiders, after acquiring the company’s intellectual property for $ 9 million in December, the founding Gindi family is seeing opportunities for the COVID-19 crisis as well as devastating retailers and landlords.
Mark Benitez, the company’s newly appointed president, told The Post in an interview on Monday, “As we speak, plans are very much going for us.” “We are looking at both bricks and mortar and e-commerce strategy.”
Last week, Century 21 announced the opening of its first store in South Korea, pointing to a broader plan to reopen the store in the US as well.
But on Monday, Benitez – an elder of Koch and Kenneth Cole, who was tapped as president in December – said the Big Apple is a “priority” as the 21st century plans its return. Indeed, the 21st century appears to be moving itself to 34th Street, where Massey has worked in court for over 120 years.
Benitez refused to expand on specific locations or on the deadline for Century 21 New York ambitions. Major retail locations recently vacated include the anchor location at the Manhattan Mall off Messe’s West 34th Street, which was vacated by JCPNE in July.
“The goal is to have some presence in the US this year,” Benitez told The Post. “We are simply in the process of creating a strategy, which may include further expansion from our previous bricks and mortar footprint.”
Before coming under the 21st century, Benitez said, its e-commerce business that had only been for a few years was growing by “double digits” and experienced its biggest growth in growth in 2020. This was a “much needed component”. For business, he said.