About two hours after Century 21 reopened as Century 21 NYC in Decrease Manhattan on Tuesday, the shop’s point-of-sale system crashed.
“This goes to show you that they should have never went out of business,” mentioned Denise Danny, 58, from Staten Island. Ms. Danny, who had a buying cart full of garments, was standing in a line that had shaped at a register on the division retailer’s second flooring. “If it’s this crowded on the first day of the grand opening, you know the people missed Century 21.”
It was lower than three years in the past when the retailer, which was beloved for providing designer labels at a reduction, declared chapter and closed all of its shops, disappearing from town’s buying map like different fabled malls together with Abraham & Straus and Barneys.
On the time, Century 21 had 13 places in 4 states. However arguably, none was as standard as its flagship location on Cortlandt Road within the Monetary District, which was opened in 1961 by two cousins, Al Gindi and Samuel Gindi, who was referred to as Sonny.
After closing in September 2020, the flagship retailer sat empty as a result of the corporate, which was then run by the second-generation homeowners Raymond, IG, Isaac and Eddie Gindi, nonetheless had a long-term lease on the area. Later in 2020, the Gindis purchased Century 21’s mental property in a chapter sale with hopes of finally reviving the enterprise, mentioned Teresa Rodriguez, the vp of selling at Century 21 NYC.
Longtime prospects could discover the brand new Cortlandt Road retailer, which occupies 4 flooring, extra intimate than its predecessor, which took up seven. They will even discover that with the brand new title has come a brand new emblem. The shop’s stock has modified barely, too: It now contains classic luggage sourced by Two Authenticators, a brand new provider, which finds and authenticates beforehand owned luxurious items which can be bought by way of retailers like Century 21 NYC.
Earlier than the shop opened to the general public on Tuesday morning, Mayor Eric Adams gave a speech and made the primary buy of the day: a blue Eton gown shirt for $129.99, greater than half off its listing value of $275.
By the point the primary prospects entered at about 11:30, a line had shaped across the total constructing. “I’ve been waiting for this day to come, because I’m a Century shopper, and I’ve been a Century shopper for many years,” mentioned Gina Strachan, 83, from Brooklyn. (Ms. Strachan, like different longtime prospects, referred to the shop utilizing a shortened model of its title.)
The primary flooring, which provides fragrances, sun shades, luggage and different equipment, crammed up shortly. Many consumers gravitated towards the middle of the ground, the place gross sales associates armed with keys stood by locked show instances stuffed with Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Gucci purses.
By 12:30, strains on the registers had grown longer, and the escalators have been crowded. Early arrivals have been already on their means out, and a few, together with Jamz Putra, have been empty-handed. Mr. Putra, 27, from Manhattan, had come in quest of Balenciaga and Vetements gadgets, with hopes of reselling them for a revenue. “I missed this place,” Mr. Putra mentioned, including that though he hadn’t discovered something that he may resell, he deliberate to return.
When the point-of-sale system went down that afternoon round 1:30, confusion erupted as strains obtained even longer and staff requested folks to attend patiently. Safety guards closed the shop to new prospects, and features began to kind outdoors once more. Workers took benefit of the lull, restocking empty racks and rearranging shows that had been knocked over.
By 2:30, the money registers have been absolutely operational, and consumers have been shuffling in once more. On the basement flooring, which provides sneakers, kids’s garments and baggage, a person and a lady piled their purchases right into a suitcase earlier than pushing towards the crowded escalators, explaining that that they had a airplane to catch.
On the primary flooring, Vladimir Dzuro, 61, from Manhattan, stopped to pose on a small purple carpet that had been arrange as a spot for folks to take photographs. As one other buyer snapped his image, the 2 had a short chat about how excited they have been that the shop had reopened earlier than they headed their separate methods to buy.
Mr. Dzuro mentioned that he and his spouse, who’re planning to maneuver to the Czech Republic in October after 15 years of dwelling in New York, have been completely happy to have the ability to store at Century 21 once more earlier than they left town. He added that that they had members of the family visiting in June and supposed to carry them to the shop.
Whereas perusing the fragrance choice, Anna Evans mentioned her fondness for Century 21 was not solely due to its offers. Ms. Evans, 37, from Manhattan, mentioned the shop had been a big a part of her childhood.
“It’s so nostalgic to me,” she mentioned. “I’ve been waiting for years for the reopening.”
After a little bit of shopping, Ms. Evans mentioned that her impression was that the brand new retailer was “not as good” because it had been previously. However, she added, “I just walked in, so I need some more time.”