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Residents Cheer High-End Discount Retailer's Move Into Old Strawbridge's Building

By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - PREIT, the company that owns the Gallery shopping mall in Center City, yesterday announced that high-end discount retailer Century 21 (no relation to the real estate firm) would be moving into the former home of Strawbridge and Clothier. Many people are cheering the move.

READ: New York Fashion Retailer 'Century 21' Is New Tenant For Strawbridge's Site

Residents feel this stretch of Market Street hasn't lived up to potential for years, and Lynne Gallagher-Samano from Northeast Philadelphia says it's a big win to get a destination store like Century 21 here.

"I think it will be a big draw for them. It will bring a lot of people in who would normally not go there, and therefore shop at other stores in the Gallery."

With high-end brands at discount prices, Badgly Mischka gowns, Fendi bags or Calvin Klein suits, she says Century 21 is the kind of store where you can go when you need something, but it's also the kind of the store where you can just go to browse, in hopes of stumbling upon a great deal.

Margie Curran from Blackwood New Jersey agrees, saying this is a win not just for the Gallery Mall but for Market Street: "It's very important for the Gallery. They need to bring in more people and because of where it is, people from around can take the el or the subway or whatever. I think it's going to help it, I really really do, because I don't think it's that good there right now, but that'll be a good store for it."

Century 21 is slated to open in October. Next up for the Gallery is a remaking of the western portion, where smaller shops will replace the departing K-Mart later this year.

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