Century 21 Stores filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close its remaining department stores, including three locations in Paramus, Elizabeth and Morristown, along with one not-yet-opened store in East Rutherford’s American Dream.
The closures were announced Thursday.
The company noted financial woes brought on by COVID-19, and the approximately $175 million that its insurance company failed to pay that was “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,” a statement said.
“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,” Co-Chief Executive Officer Raymond Gindi said in a prepared statement.
“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,” he said.
The retailer is the latest in a series of closures and downsizings state and nationwide: Lord & Taylor announced plans to close its remaining stores and Men’s Warehouse and Jos. A. Bank. announced the same in August; in June, Seacaucus-based The Children’s Place announced it would shutter 300 locations.