How Century 21 was able to make a comeback

The problems identified by the CFO have not disappeared and, on the contrary, they have worsened.

The reopening plan bucks trends away from brick-and-mortar stores, continued supply chain disruptions and the slow death of the department store. Even before the pandemic, Manhattan saw the closure of many popular stores and restaurants that could not afford to keep pace with the cost of rent – ​​including Barney’s, the luxury department store on Madison Avenue which saw its rent rise from 16 million dollars to 30 dollars. million per month in 2019.

Century 21 owners “can determine their destiny because they control that particular piece of real estate, because they own it,” said Nina Kampler, commercial real estate strategic advisor. Barney’s wasn’t strangled by those savings, they may still be alive. Barney’s was killed by the rent.”

The family’s real estate company acts as a safety net for these problems. Their portfolio stretches from Canada to Florida and from New York to California. They also own a property in London, but it seems clear that the retail outlet is the sentimental heart of the Gindi family.

Century 21 was started in 1961 by family patriarch Al Gindi, son of Syrian Jewish immigrants.

“Our father built this business 60 years ago. We feel compelled to maintain the legacy,” co-CEO IG Gindi told Women’s Wear Daily on Thursday. The family refused to speak to Gothamist.

The only other time the Financial District store closed was after 9/11, when merchandise was covered in ash from the Twin Towers. The family said they reopened as part of an effort to rebuild the town after the attack.

“Our flagship store has long been a symbol of this city’s resilience and unwavering spirit,” Raymond Gindi said in a statement this week. “But like the true New Yorkers that we are, we persevered.”

The company promises that it will not change its core concept of premium brands at rock bottom prices.

Cynthia Furman, who works with Filien at DSS, said the return would be a boon for buyers.

“I think it’s important that it reopens,” she said. “People have missed Century 21. If a store like this comes back, it will bring back foot traffic.”

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