Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Retailer Century 21 to open South Korean store

Robert Besser
21 Feb 2021, 11:30 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - New York-based discount retailer Century 21, which shut down stores and filed for bankruptcy last year amid a pandemic-induced slowdown in business, is planning to relaunch operations this year, starting in South Korea.

Owned and operated by the Gindi family, the retailer, which is known for offering bargains on high-end designer brand,s such as Chanel, Prada, and Valentino, will reopen its first store in the city of Busan this summer.

The retailer said plans for the Korea launch were set in motion prior to the pandemic, and a relaunch in New York is also expected.

"Re-opening in the U.S. is a part of our strategic relaunch plans," said Marc Benitez, president of Century 21, as quoted by FOX Business.

"Century 21 remains a beacon of hope for retailers and New Yorkers alike, as perseverance is in our DNA. We have received an outpouring of love and support from fans across Manhattan and the Tri-State Area, and we hope to be able to serve those loyal fans soon," he added.

The company was operating 13 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which the Gindis have blamed on their insurance provider failing to pay $175 million in business interruption claims to cover losses arising from the pandemic.

At the time, Century 21 co-CEO Raymond Gindi had said the insurers "turned their backs on us at this most critical time".

The Gindis, who have run the store for 60 years, have now bought back the intellectual property of the Century 21 brand and plan to operate it as a family-run business, according to company officials.

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