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In Contrast To Popular Opinion, NYC Has Seen A Decline In Amount Of Chain Stores, Study Says

Caitlin Horsfield Caitlin Horsfield

In Contrast To Popular Opinion, NYC Has Seen A Decline In Amount Of Chain Stores, Study Says
For those of you that are convinced that NYC is “becoming one big shopping mall,” take note!

For the past 11 years, the Center for an Urban Future has released their “State of the Chains” report, an analysis of the change in the number of national retailers (like food and clothing stores) in the five boroughs.

In 2018, researchers found a year-over-year decrease in the number of chain store locations in New York City. This marks the first year that a decrease has occurred since the study began! Across the five boroughs, the number of chain stores apparently decreased by 0.3% with the majority of that change happening in Manhattan.

According to the study, coffee shops and cell phone retailers (huh?) had the highest rate of growth in the City. For the tenth consecutive year, Dunkin’ Donuts topped the list as the largest national retailer in the five boroughs with a total of 624 stores while cellular phone shops exploded in popularity with an addition of 129 stores citywide.

imgae: nycfuture.org
image: nycfuture.org

On the other hand, clothing retailers experienced more net loss than any other category in the study. Of the 86 clothing and accessory retailers they analyzed, 32 of them lost store locations while 48 did not add or expand into new locations at all. Of course, this trend seems like a natural progression with the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping.

Overall growth over the past ten years looks like this:

imgae: nycfuture.org
image: nycfuture.org

And year on year change, like this:

image:
image: nycfuture.org

To me, it looks like this trend just indicates that retailers might be taking their strategy out of Manhattan and into the outer boroughs. But alas, that’s just what I got out of this graph; a 2% increase in the Bronx and a 3.2% increase in Staten Island in chain store locations over the past year seems like more than enough evidence.

The most popular shops in each borough are listed below:

image:
image: nycfuture.org

For more information about the study, for a more in-depth look at what chains are moving in and out, and to see the results from previous years, you can check out the Center for an Urban Future website.

Featured image: Ibrahim Boran via Pexels