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If you’ve visited New York, it’s likely that you’ve been to the Century 21 department store across the street from the Trade Center. Guidebooks always mentioned it. Their prices on clothing were very good. A European visitor could buy European made clothing for half the price back home. People would travel to NYC with one big empty suitcase, to be filled with dresses and sportswear from Century 21.

It is just announced that Century 21 is declaring bankruptcy, and that they will wind down all operations. They don’t see a good way forward.

Besides the large store in Manhattan, they have a huge store in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, and stores throughout the region, down to Philadelphia.

These stores were much loved, this news will hit hard. A woman in my office used to shop at the Manhattan location twice a week. She just loved roaming the aisles, buying this or that for the family.

The closed stores will be a major hit to the neighborhoods, to the surrounding stores, to the the many long term employees.

I would hope against hope that something can reverse this decision.

If you like the retail stores near you, try to support them now. The hour of need for them is now.

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17 thoughts on “Century 21 Stores in NYC to close

  1. The stores in the suburbs in Dublin are doing pretty well while the city centre is fast becoming a ghost town. It’s worrying and will likely get much worse before it gets better.

  2. I would have hoped that some more office workers had been allowed to work in the city at this point. I would want that for myself.

    And if more of us were in our center cities, we’d be supporting some of these businesses.

    I understand and respect the need for the lockdowns when they were done, but we should be more open at stage, with protections.

    Again, the Asian countries like Taiwan Singapore and Korea have done way better than the US and UK, despite shorter lockdowns or no lockdowns at all.

  3. Mrs Reg dragged me to the Manhattan Century 21 a couple of times. Not my cup of tea given how much else there is to see and do in your incredible city – but she loved it.

  4. Retail took a huge hammering over the rise of the Amazons etc of this world. I suspect for many the Covid restrictions were the final nail in the coffin.

  5. I noticed today a shoe store on Grafton Street was having a going out of business sale, on Grafton Street! No tourists. The taxi drivers in city center are having a hard time of it as well.

    We did however do our entire Christmas shopping here.

  6. Correct.

    But the Century 21 stores that I’ve seen in the city itself were doing very good business until Covid hit. The Manhattan location had enormous ” foot traffic ” of office workers, in addition to the tourists who sought it out. They were busy from early morning to night.

    But Amazon and the like have risen so fast to become complete disrupters in the retail space. Many traditional department and other stores are pretty awful, staffed by employees who don’t know what they’re selling – when Amazon gave you a full description of the product, plus reviews right there, at any hour.

    This won’t be the only chain to close this year.

  7. Paul, tried but it was closed to visitors. That was a disappointment. But we made up for it across the street at the Aran Island Sweater Shop where we where fleeced! 🙂

  8. Never made it to the gaol either! You might ask what the hell have we been doing in Dublin! Not doing many of the touristy things, but taking the advice of locals and going to little places like Howth, Malahide, Wicklow, tomorrow Newgrange. We’ve done lots of shopping around Stephen’s Green and Trinity, had lunch several times at the Shelbourne. Lots of craic with the Irish taxi drivers.

    My wife tells me the gaol was closed. so many sites are.

  9. Kilmainham Gaol is a special place. I once lived just over the road. Each day I would walk right by the spot where there was once a public gallows. How times change.

    The guides in Kilmainham tend to be really top notch. I have brought visitors there many times and they are always impressed. I brought a French comrade along on Good Friday of the 1916 Centenary. He ended up getting his photo taken with Martin McGuinness. He was well chuffed!

  10. Howth, Malahide, Wicklow, tomorrow Newgrange

    Nothing wrong with that at all. If you’re still based at the airport a short journey to Balbrigan & Skerries is a nice sea walk.

  11. Funny story. We were at the train station in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and asked the station master about the next train to Dublin. One pulled in, but it looked to be going the wrong way, so we didn’t get on. He came over to us and said, “that was your train”. So we waited and a green DART came in and we sat there, and from the office behind us we heard a shout, “get on this train!” And we somehow got back to Dublin. 🙂

  12. Funny, just yesterday I sat across from the large Abercrombie & Fitch store here wondering where all the crowds were. For a long time (pre-Corona) there used to be a constant line waiting to get in. Now it seemed empty.

    BTW, I wonder has the farce of the Trump presidency, as well as these police brutality scandals, done brand USA any harm in international sales.

    //I’m not ashamed to say that by the time the tour finished I was in tears.//

    I’ve been there several times, and each time found it a very uplifting and empowering experience.
    Mind you, the last time I was a bit frustrated. The guide obviously thought the visitors wanted to hear a particular story and gave it to them. The 1916 executions were of course a great drama, which he went into in great depth, but he didn’t once mention any executions of republicans by the Free State until I had to point it out to him in the end.

  13. I should add that the tears were tears of incredible pride, Noel.

    It really is an abomination the most of the Long Kesh cages / H Block complex was demolished.

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