Century 21 Stores has filed for bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The business has said it will wind down its retail operations and that its 13 store locations will have going-out-of-business sales.
Century 21 has been in business for around 60 years. Memorably, its flagship location in New York City was damaged by the 9/11 attacks, but had an emotional re-opening in early 2002 after undergoing restorations and repairs.
However, the pandemic has been tough on the historic retailer.
“The decision [to file for bankruptcy] follows non-payment by the company's 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,” the company said in a statement.
"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 because our insurers, to whom we have paid significant premiums every year for protection against unforeseen circumstances like we are experiencing today, have turned their backs on us at this most critical time," said co-CEO Raymond Gindi.
Century 21 joins a host of other retailers who have filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and Brooks Brothers.