Century 21 opens 'best of the best'

Century21 store in Staten Island, New York
Century 21 is opening a concept shop in the Roosevelt Field mall. (Century 21)

Discount fashion retailer Century 21 Stores will open a new concept shop, Century 21 Edition, this week in Garden City, New York. The 5,000-square-foot shop at Roosevelt Field will feature a curated selection of designer women's shoes, accessories, sunglasses, watches, handbags, fragrances and an optical boutique. In other words, the retailer is showing off its "best of the best."

Unique to this location, Century 21 has partnered with Vision Express to offer optical services as well as the sale of discounted frames by big names in fashion such as Tom Ford, Fendi and Givenchy.

Also unique to the location is LXRandCo, an assortment of vintage designer handbags and accessories from designers such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

The concept for Century 21 Edition was created in preparation for the future of retail. A traditional Century 21 mall location requires between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet. According to Larry Mentzer, CRO at Century 21, the team knew that the brand needed to work on a concept that included a smaller format that could fit into a specialty space in the mall. This forward-thinking idea led to the first Century 21 Edition, which opened in April on Staten Island, New York.

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Plus, the beauty of the Century 21 Edition concept is that it saves time.

"It's a commitment to go to Century 21, and we know that not everyone has the time to hunt," Mentzer told FierceRetail. "We made the hunt less difficult but kept the thrill of getting an amazing deal."

In lessons learned from the first location, the new Century 21 Edition has a larger designer shoe department. Plus, the brand was already partnering with a third party to sell prescription lenses with designer frames. The concept is a win-win, as it brings in more foot traffic and fills a void in most malls—designer eyeglass sales.

Moving forward, Century 21 will continue to address the concerns of today's shopper: time and quality.

"I know we are the only full-line department store in this off-price segment," Mentzer said. "Plus, we have everything from rolling pins to Gucci sunglasses at an amazing price. Time is important, and they can come to Century 21 and get everything they need. This gives us a competitive edge."