It’s the end of an era: After 60 years, one of the best discount department stores of our time is closing its doors for good. The past few months have not been kind to some of our favorite storefronts, and Century 21 is one of them. It’s a hard loss, but thankfully, there are plenty of other stores like Century 21 out there to satisfy our bargain cravings in its place.
For as long as I can remember, Century 21 has been a major part of my fashion journey. As an intern working down in the Financial District, I remember walking into a Century 21 store on my lunch break and finding the *best* deals on some of my favorite designers. When I first moved to NYC for good, my mom and I made a point to head the Century 21 near Lincoln Center to flesh out my work wardrobe. Last season on Real Housewives of New York, I watched with pride as Sonja Morgan finally got her clothing line into a storefront—Century 21, of course. While some might’ve seen the discount department store as a last-resort, for many people, it was the Mecca of savings on stylish goods, and it will be duly missed.
If you’re sad to see another major retailer bite the dust in 2020, take comfort in knowing there are plenty of other stores out there to support during these tough times. The future of fashion is always changing, and although online retail is thriving, there are still tons of in-person stores to hit up for incredible deals. From Marshalls to Nordstrom Rack to the highly-underrated (in my opinion!) Saks Off Fifth, there are tons of ways to shop designer brands like Theory, Package, Rebecca Minkoff and more without breaking the bank.
With that, read on for five stores like Century 21 you can turn to for the best discounts and deals. RIP, C21—you were a real one, and you’ll be missed.
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1. TJ Maxx
TJ Maxx is in the same family as Marshall’s and has just as many incredible deals. You’ll also find home decor items here, as Home Goods is also in the same retail family. Some TJ Maxx stores have a Home Goods section and others have an entire Home Goods store connected to the TJ Maxx—if you live near the latter, know that I’m jealous! Not only can you pick up a designer bag from Rebecca Minkoff, but you can also bring home all the fall candles your heart desires.
Welcome to your favorite department store, discounted. Nordstrom Rack is truly the best when it comes to steals and deals. You’ll find discounts on out-of-season designer clothes and overstock items that may not have sold out in the main store, but still look incredible. Shop at Nordstrom Rack knowing you’re getting the same high-quality pieces as you would at Nordstrom, but for a much lower price.
3. Saks Off Fifth
Not too many people know about Saks Off Fifth and I’m here to blow the lid off of this hidden gem. Here you’ll find discounts on serious designer clothing from Versace, Stella McCartney and Balmain (seriously) and you can shop trendy shoes from brands like Off White, Rodger Vivier and Balenciaga. Even though you’ll be spending more at Saks Off Fifth than the other discount stores, the designer deals are well worth it.
Marshalls is a national chain department discount store that will certainly deliver in Century 21’s absence. Here you’ll find plenty of discounts on big designers. Look out for dresses from brands like Rebecca Taylor and Free People, denim from celebrity-loved brand FRAME, and even shoes from Stuart Weitzman (yep!!) and Sam Edelman.
Ross has no online shopping, so you’ll have to head in-store, but making the trip is worth it, as you’ll be able to find incredible deals inside the walls of this discount department store. You can shop home items here as well as clothing, so you can basically give your entire life a major makeover with just one Ross shopping spree.