Century 21 ready to open on the Upper West Side

September 14, 2011 2:28:37 PM PDT
The store Eddie Gindi has called his own since he was a little boy is Century 21.

All 300 plus employees are busy getting everything just right for the grand opening of a new store on the Upper West Side in what was Barnes and Noble.

"We're going to carry the best of the best of our selection in this store," he said.

The idea for all of this began back in the late 50's, when Eddie's father and uncle were at a World's Fair. They spotted an exhibit focusing on the 21st century and decided that would be the name of their first store in Brooklyn.

"It was a small 2,000 square foot little slock kind of a store and it just grew and grew over the years," Gindi said.

This is store number 7. It's 61-thousand square feet, about half the size of the Lower Manhattan store and so they've eliminated the home goods section and fragrances.

Still, experts say you will get the same trademark high end items at low prices, yet another plus for this upper west side shopping corridor.

"While you have a lot of different retailers all within the same few blocks, I love that you can come here to get that item you can build your wardrobe around," style expert Jen Falik said.

"Century 21 is playing to one, the apparitional customer, and two, a lot of those people who are watching every dollar," retail expert Howard Davidowitz said.

Davidowitz believes Century 21 is on the right track, tapping into the hottest area of retail right now: off-price branding.

"These are people who understand business and know how to make money," he said.

And they understand how to make it in New York.

"We persevere. We've been through many hardships. 9/11. We were closed for 6 months downtown, opened up. We really believe in New York City," Gindi said.

The Upper West Side store opens on September 22.