UPPER WEST SIDE — The early bird gets the Gucci.
That's what shoppers are hoping will happen on Thursday, when Century 21's new Lincoln Square store will reportedly open its doors for a "soft opening."
The fashion discounter's official grand opening at 1972 Broadway is scheduled for Sept. 22, but shopping blogs Shophound and Racked reported that Century 21 plans a soft opening this Thursday, with "priority, red carpet" entry for the store's loyalty card holders, according to Shophound.
Employees were spotted recently outside the store signing up customers for Century 21's VIP loyalty cards, which give shoppers discounts and access to a VIP checkout line, according to Shophound.
Shophound also reported that the decor at the new Century 21 store, on Broadway and West 66th Street, looked spiffy compared to its "haphazard" downtown location.
A Century 21 representative could not be reached immediately for comment.
Century 21 will take over the massive retail space formerly occupied by the financially troubled bookseller Barnes & Noble. The fashion discounter's opening comes as another major neighborhood bookstore, the Borders at Time Warner Center, is closing for good.
Century 21 isn't the only new store coming to the neighborhood this week. For the more outdoorsy shopper, Eastern Mountain Sports will open its new Upper West Side location on Friday, Sept. 16. The two-level, 15,000 square-foot store is on the ground floor of the new Laureate apartment building at 2152 Broadway and West 76th Street.