Century 21 will be closing all of its 13 stores, located mostly across the city and nearby suburbs, and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company said the failure to receive payment under its business interruption insurance left them with no choice.
Among those laid off are 104 employees at their central office, 470 employees at the store by the World Trade Center, 133 employees at the Lincoln Square Store, 175 employees at the Bay Ridge store, 108 employees at City Point store in Downtown Brooklyn, and 157 employees at Rego Park store in Queens.
“Century 21 isn’t going away just yet, however. All of our stores are open, and our team members are continuing to deliver the same amazing experiences to our guests, taking necessary precautions to keep our stores safe,” the Gindi family wrote in their letter to their customers. “You can also continue to shop at C21stores.com for a limited time. We invite you to take advantage of even deeper discounts on the designer brands you love by shopping us now, while the merchandise selection is best!”
This adds to the already bleak jobs outlook in the borough.
COVID-19 Pandemic has sent unemployment in the city to levels last seen during the Great Depression almost a hundred years ago. Unemployment in Brooklyn has gone from 4% to 20.4% since February and has not budged since the city started reopening in late June, according to data from the NYS Labor department.
According to New School’s Center For New York City Affairs report – actual unemployment is much higher than that – at almost 33%., arrived at by looking at the actual data on how many people filed for unemployment and comparing that to the labor force in February, before the city shut down:
“Actual unemployment (measured by UI recipients) in the Bronx is nearly 41 percent, followed by 37 percent in Queens and 33 percent in Brooklyn. In Staten Island, nearly 28 percent of the labor force received unemployment benefits in July while in Manhattan the actual unemployment rate was 23 percent. (The corresponding figure for New York State as a whole is 27.6 percent.”
Local lawmakers have been fighting for local businesses to get their insurance claims covered since PAUSE was ordered.
Since April, @Bobby4Brooklyn and I have been fighting w/ a coalition of supporters including the @BrooklynChamber & @theNYCalliance to protect businesses being denied legitimate insurance claims for business interruption.
How many more businesses must we lose before we act?
— Andrew Gounardes (@agounardes) September 10, 2020