New Philly department store opens in familiar location

 Councilman Mark Squilla, Joe Coradino Preit, Mayor Michael Nutter, And Century 21 VP Eddie Gindy cut the ceremonial ribbon to open Century 21 in Philadelphia (Tom MadcDonald/WHYY)

Councilman Mark Squilla, Joe Coradino Preit, Mayor Michael Nutter, And Century 21 VP Eddie Gindy cut the ceremonial ribbon to open Century 21 in Philadelphia (Tom MadcDonald/WHYY)

A department store that many New Yorkers swear by has opened an outpost in Philadelphia.

Century 21 is the department store that has taken over the former Strawbridges space at 8th and Market streets, offering upscale clothing and accessories at a discount.

Eddie Gindi, a Century 21 vice-president, said Philadelphia is a perfect test for expanding outside the New York area.

“Philadelphia for us was an easy choice,” he said. “It was close enough for us to operate; our distribution center is in New Jersey, and yet it’s far enough for a new environment, a new customer, a new city to help us learn and to help figure out what we need to do to grow.”

Joe Coradino, whose company owns the building and neighboring Gallery shopping mall, said Century 21 will excite people who don’t like shopping.

“It’s a place that even if you are not a shopper you want to shop, because you see great merchandise and great value, he said.”

About a thousand people were waiting for the mid-day opening to find the earliest bargains.

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