For New Yorkers who loved getting a good deal on designer wares at department store Century 21, those days are sadly over.
The department store just announced they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing all storefronts. They currently had 13 open stores, mostly located in NYC but some in New Jersey, Florida and Pennsylvania as well. According to the New York Post, they will close all New York, Pennsylvania and Florida stores by Nov. 22.
Many department stores have been struggling during COVID-19 (and even before, with the popularity of online shopping). Besides just the loss of revenue, the company released a statement that it was making the decision because the company’s insurance providers would not pay them the $175 million owed under policies that promised to protect the business during “unforeseen circumstances” like the coronavirus pandemic. Insurance money had previously been used to rebuild the flagship store, which had been badly damaged in the 9/11 attacks.
“We now have no viable alternative but to begin the closure of our beloved family business because our insurers, to whom we have paid significant premiums every year for protection against unforeseen circumstances like we are experiencing today, have turned their backs on us at this most critical time,” said Century 21 co-CEO Raymond Gindi in statement, according to ABC7.
It will start out-of-business sales online and through all its stores immediately.
Century 21 opened right in Downtown Manhattan all the way back in 1961, and it was the first off-price retailer in the area, according to their website. The name was inspired by a World’s Fair exhibit “Century 21, The World of Tomorrow,” to represent the future of retail. The discount department store soon grew into multiple locations, while the NYC flagship spans six buildings.
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