Off-price retailer Century 21 Stores is going out of business and will shutter its 13 locations in the Northeast and Florida.
According to the company, the decision to close was made following nonpayment by its insurance providers of approximately $175 million due under policies put in place to protect against losses stemming from business interruption such as that experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While insurance money helped us to rebuild after suffering the devastating impact of 9/11, we now have no viable alternative but to begin the closure of our beloved family business,” said Raymond Gindi, Century 21 co-chief executive officer. “While retailers across the board have suffered greatly due to COVID-19, and Century 21 is no exception, we are confident that had we received any meaningful portion of the insurance proceeds, we would have been able to save thousands of jobs and weather the storm, in hopes of another incredible recovery.”
To accomplish a wind-down, the company voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Concurrently, the company is removing to the Bankruptcy Court a lawsuit pending in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against several of its insurance providers. The company is requesting that the Bankruptcy Court expedite the adjudication of the suit for the benefit of its stakeholders.
“Since 1961, when Al and Sonny Gindi opened what was then a small store in Downtown Manhattan, we have been proud to provide shoppers with unmatched access to designer brands at amazing prices,” said Century 21 co-CEO IG Gindi. “While we wish that Century 21 could continue to be a must-see shopping destination for so many, we are proud of the pioneering role it has played in off-price retail and the iconic brand it has become.”
Century 21 stores are currently open. The company is commencing going out of business sales at all of its locations and at c21stores.com.