Century 21 (department store)
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Raymond Gindi, Chief Operating Officer|
|Products||Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics and housewares.|
Century 21 is a chain of department stores in the northeastern United States. There are stores located in Brooklyn (NY), Long Island/Westbury (NY), Morristown (NJ), Paramus (NJ), Rego Park/Queens (NY), Lincoln Square/Upper West Side (NY), Jersey Gardens/Elizabeth (NJ), and Center City Philadelphia (PA). The largest location is in Lower Manhattan, across the street from the World Trade Center.
The Century 21 department store chain is a separate company unrelated to the nationwide real estate firm Century 21, and pre-dates them by ten years.
The company was founded in 1961, by Sonny Gindi and Al Gindi. The original store is located at 472 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Founder Al Gindi's son, Raymond Gindi, currently serves as Century 21's Chief Operating officer.
The Century 21 flagship location is in Lower Manhattan. The store became an emotional flashpoint during and after the September 11 attacks. The store was evacuated after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and the interior was heavily damaged from the collapse of the twin towers. Initially it was not certain that the store would be rebuilt, but the owners opted to remain at the same site and the store was renovated and reopened in the summer of 2002. Thousands of people waited hours on the morning of the reopening so they could have a sales receipt from that day.
On October 28, 2014 the firm celebrated the official grand opening of its first location outside of the greater New York area. This location is housed on 2 floors of the former Strawbridge's flagship on Market Street in Center City Philadelphia.
- New York Times articles linking Century 21 to the World Trade Center
- Jewish Voice New York: "Sonny Gindi, Founder of Century 21 Department Store, Dies at 88" By Fern Sidman June 20, 2012
- Philadelphia Inquirer: "Will buyers flock to Philadelphia's Century 21?" By Elizabeth Wellington April 30, 2014
- New York Times: "A Beloved Store Was a Casualty Too" October 14, 2001
- New York Times: "Century 21, A Downtown Fixture, Reopens to Cheers" March 1, 2002
- Philadelphia Inquirer: "Shoppers check out Century 21, new Center City department store" By Erin Arvedlund October 25, 2014