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Century 21 has heard the complaints about their crowded downtown location, and they're trying to do something about it. The discount chain announced last night that they hope to spend the next two years building out the 22 Cortland Street store, adding 76,000 square feet of new space and then renovating what's currently there. "What we want to do is make it a better shopping experience," Betty Cohen, Century 21's director of corporate relations, told DNAinfo. She knows exactly what people think about the store now: "You walk through the aisles, trying to get to the merchandise, and you're knocking things off the rack, [saying] 'Excuse me, excuse me.'"
Century 21 occupies about 120,000 square feet, so the addition will be over half the size of the current space. Carved out of three floors that used to house offices, it's slated to include more dressing rooms, more bathrooms, and a cafe. If the city approves, work will begin this summer, wrapping up by the end of 2012. As for the renovations, they were definitely planned with the customer experience in mind: The chain won't be adding much new merchandise, just widening aisles so that shoppers can navigate them without trampling each other.
· Century 21 Plans Major Expansion in Lower Manhattan [DNAinfo]
· Century 21's New Online Sales Mean Freedom from "Stroller Nazis" [Racked NY]
· UWS Century 21 Placeholder Sign Announces Fall Opening [Racked NY]