Eddie Gindi is executive vice president and a member of the family controlling Century 21 Department Store. The chain of upmarket off-pricers recently opened its 10th location and has two more in development. The soon-to-open stores include the company’s first outside the metropolitan New York City to Philadelphia region, which will open next year in Sunrise, FL. The 10th store opened in Valley Stream, NY’s Green Acres Mall and is featured in the November 23, 2015, issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.
Gindi recently provided HomeWorld Business with his take on the newest location’s significance.
HomeWorld Business: What does the 10th store represent for the company and how does it play to the overall business strategy?
Eddie Gindi: The 10th store is a major milestone for us. It represents our history as a retailer who has sustained in this business and grown over the past 50 years. In terms of strategy, it is a part of our overall growth strategy on the East Coast.
HWB: Is the company focused on filling in its metro New York presence at this time primarily or are their other reasons for locating the store in the Green Acres Mall? What is unique about the new location?
Gindi: We have plans to expand our presence within and outside of the New York metro area over the next decade. This location is our second in Long Island, an area that suits our demographic and boasts a strong community energy.
HWB: Who do you expect to draw in terms of customers and from where?
Gindi: Our core customer is the savvy shopper of all ages who appreciates value and high fashion in the same context. Our customer appreciates our attention to detail, our merchandise mix and our dedication to providing an elevated off-price experience.
HWB: How are your stores and their merchandising evolving, and what are some highlights of that evolution that might be observed in the new store?
Gindi: Our overall store design has evolved and the Green Acres store is another example of the new direction we’ve been going. Similar to our Philadelphia and Jersey Gardens locations, we offer luxurious details, glossy surfaces, wide aisles, smart product assortment and LED displays with motion graphics that infuse energy into our spaces.
HWB: I understand that the home department is a bit smaller in the Green Acres location than is typical due to size considerations, but how is the home department evolving and is it significantly different than might have been the case five years ago?
Gindi: Our goal is to make the C21 Home Store not only a place to find great brands at unbeatable prices, but also an inspirational shopping experience. To do this, we are buying into ever-changing trends, which we showcase via vignettes, inspiring our customers to “get the look.” We are also changing the way we organize products on the selling floor, grouping them according to lifestyle versus specific product category. By having the right adjacencies— putting the coordinating throw pillow next to the matching accent, presenting sports duffels next to exercise gear, for example— and by showcasing our product in more of an inspirational setting, we are taking our guests on a journey, allowing them to envision new ways to update their own homes and encouraging upsell. The home department in Green Acres, while not inclusive of all of the categories that we carry, is a microcosm of this vision.