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Report - December 2015

State of the Chains, 2015

Our eighth annual ranking of national retailers in New York City shows that growth in chain store locations across the city slowed considerably over the last year, with only Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens experiencing a net increase in the number of national retailers.

by Christian González-Rivera

Tags: economic growth boroughs retail chains

Click here to download the full report.


Our eighth annual ranking of national retailers in New York City shows that the growth in chain store locations across the city slowed considerably over the last year. Overall, there was a 1 percent increase in the number of national retail locations between 2014 and 2015, compared to a 2.5 percent gain between 2013 and 2014. While this is the seventh consecutive year with a net increase in national chain stores in the five boroughs, this year’s rate of growth was lower than all previous years except 2013—when the number of chain stores rose by 0.5 percent.

Our analysis shows that the 300 retailers that were listed on last year’s ranking expanded their footprint in New York City from a total of 7,473 stores in 2014 to 7,550 stores in 2015, an increase of 1 percent.1

For the eighth consecutive year, Dunkin Donuts tops our list as the largest national retailer in New York City, with a total of 568 stores. Over the past year, Dunkin Donuts had a net increase of 32 stores in the city (a 6 percent gain). Amazingly, Dunkin Donuts now has 124 more store locations than any other retailer in the five boroughs.  Subway is still the second largest national retailer in the city, with 444 store locations, but it now has 18 fewer stores than last year. Rounding out the top ten national retailers in New York are: MetroPCS (with 323 stores), Duane Reade/Walgreens (307), Starbucks (307), McDonald's (232), T-Mobile (217), Baskin Robbins (214), Rite Aid (197), and GNC (175).2  In all, there are now 14 retailers with more than 100 stores across the city, a decrease from 16 retailers with at least that number last year.

A little over a third of the national retailers on this year’s list increased their footprint in the city by at least one store over the past year, about the same number as last year, and 30 percent reduced their footprints since last year. Five national retailers closed all of their New York City locations since last year: Baja Fresh, Ecko Unltd., Frederick’s of Hollywood, Montblanc, and Underground by Journeys. The remaining 37 percent of retailers did not have a net change in the number of locations in the city.

Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens were the only boroughs to experience net increases in the number of national retailers, while the net number of locations declined in Manhattan and on Staten Island. Between 2014 and 2015 the number of chain store outlets in Brooklyn increased by 2.6 percent, going from 1,592 stores last year to 1,633 stores this year, the number in the Bronx increased 3.3 percent—from 914 stores in 2014 to 944 stores in 2015 and in Queens the number of locations increased 0.8 percent—from 1,735 stores in 2014 to 1,749 stores in 2015. The largest percentage decrease was on Staten Island, which went from 425 stores to 420, a decrease of 1.2 percent, followed by Manhattan (-0.1 percent—from 2,807 stores to 2,804).

Starbucks has more stores in Manhattan than any other national retailer, with 220 locations. In each of the other boroughs, Dunkin Donuts tops the list—it has 171 stores in Queens, 149 in Manhattan, 135 in Brooklyn, 80 in the Bronx and 33 on Staten Island.

 

Among the retailers with significant store growth over the past year:

  • Sprint: 70 locations, up from 28 in 2014 and 24 in 2008
  • Fossil: 11 locations, up from 4 in 2014 and also in 2009
  • Sketchers: 11 locations, up from 7 in 2014 and 6 in 2009
  • Nathan’s:  25 locations, up from 17 in 2014 and 19 in 2009
  • Coach: 18 locations, up from 13 in 2014 and 12 in 2009
  • Just Salad: 19 locations, up from 14 in 2014 and 6 in 2009
  • Crunch: 16 locations, up from 12 in 2014 and 10 in 2009
  • T-Mobile: 217 locations, up from 181 in 2014 and 96 in 2009
  • MetroPCS: 323 locations, up from 290 in 2014 and 7 in 2009
  • GNC: 175 locations, up from 156 in 2014 and 110 in 2009
  • Chipotle: 58 locations, up from 50 in 2014 and 25 in 2009
  • Sunglass Hut:  30 locations, up from 23 in 2014 and 20 in 2009
  • Checkers: 35 locations, up from 28 in 2014 and 17 in 2012
  • Le Pain Quotidien: 36 locations, up from 30 in 2014 and 17 in 2008
  • Michael’s Stores: 9 locations, up from 4 in 2014 and 5 in 2008
  • Equinox: 25 locations, up from 20 in 2014 and 2008
  • Auntie Anne’s: 25 locations, up from 20 in 2014 and 10 in 2008
  • Taco Bell: 29 locations, up from 24 in 2014 and 19 in 2008

 

Among the retailers that closed a number of stores over the past year:

  • Radio Shack:  37 locations, down from 113 in 2014
  • Jackson Hewitt Tax Service:  66 locations, down from 76 in 2014
  • Bally Total Fitness:  3 locations, down from 15 in 2014
  • Strawberry:  7 locations, down from 18 in 2014
  • McDonald's: 232 locations, down from 243 in 2014
  • Duane Reade/Walgreens: 307 locations, down from 318 in 2014
  • Golden Krust: 59 locations, down from 69 in 2014
  • Motherhood Maternity: 6 locations, down from 14 in 2014
  • Carvel: 50 locations, down from 58 in 2014

 

Our report also charts retailer trends within the boroughs. Among the interesting trends we discovered this year:

  • Most of Dunkin Donuts’ expansion was in Brooklyn and Queens, where the chain added a net of 10 stores in each of the two boroughs.
  • Manhattan lost 17 Subway locations. The retailer had a net loss of three locations in Brooklyn, two locations in the Bronx, and a net gain of four locations in Queens.
  • 52 of the chains we include in this report have no locations outside of Manhattan, including Pret a Manger, Papyrus, Chop’t, Tasti D-Lite, and Second Time Around.
  • Five retailers have their only locations in Queens: Arby’s, Panda Express, Gold’s Gym, and Gordon’s Jewels.
  • Two retailers have their only locations on Staten Island: Arthur Treacher’s and Bakers Shoes.
  • Overall, 166 retailers have more of their stores in Manhattan than any other borough, 63 retailers have more of their stores in Queens than any other borough, 48 have the most stores in Brooklyn, 14 have the most in the Bronx and four have the most on Staten Island.

 

Every year, we add new national retailers to our ranking. This year, we added five new retailers: Joe Coffee, Soul Cycle, Blue Mercury, Maoz Vegetarian, and Dollar Tree. Including these new retailers, our complete list of 300 retailers3 has 7,626 store locations across the five boroughs.

This year the 10001 zip code in Midtown/Koreatown that is home to the Manhattan Mall and the Herald Square shopping areas has the highest number of national retailer locations at 178. Zip code 10314, home of the Staten Island Mall, is a close second at 175 locations. Other zip codes with large numbers of retailers include 10003 in Manhattan’s East Village (163 locations) and 10036 in Midtown West (153 locations). Brooklyn Heights 11201 has the largest number of national retailer locations in that borough at 146, with zip code 11234, home to Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Flatlands being a close second at 142 locations. In Queens, the Corona/Elmhurst zip code that is home to the Queens Center Mall, 11373 has the highest number of chain stores in that borough (137), and in the Bronx, Parkchester (10462) has the highest number of chain stores of any zip code in that borough (89).

Many zip codes also saw significant increases in the number of locations over the past year. The zip codes with the largest year-over-year net increases were the Baychester/Co-op City zip code 10475, which gained 20 retailer locations, closely followed by the Brooklyn zip code covering Canarsie, 11239, which gained 18 locations.  In Queens, Woodside 11377 and East Harlem 10029 in Manhattan each gained 8 locations, and Staten Island’s Tottenville 10307 zip code gained two stores, the most of any zip code in their respective boroughs.

Manhattan still has the largest number share of national retailer locations in the city at 37 percent of all locations (a drop of 1 percent compared to last year), followed by Queens at 23 percent, Brooklyn at 22 percent (a gain of 1 percent), the Bronx at 13 percent and Staten Island at 6 percent. Manhattan also has the highest concentration of chain stores at 118 locations per square mile. The remaining boroughs have significantly fewer chain stores per square mile: Brooklyn (37), Queens (16), the Bronx (12), and Staten Island (7). Overall there are 25 chain stores per square mile and 1,077 New York City residents for every chain store location in the city.

The remainder of this report details a comprehensive ranking of national chains in New York city by their number of store locations, the number of store locations in each zip code, zip codes with the most and least number of chains and zip codes with the most and least number of chains by borough.

Click here to download the full report.


1Our tally of chain stores in New York City was conducted between July and August of 2015, and is based on each retailers’ store locator data taken at that time.

Duane Reade was purchased by Walgreens. Although there are still Duane Reade and Walgreens stores throughout the city, we counted all of these stores together.

Last year, there were also 300 retailers on our list. Five retailers from last year’s list were removed this year because they closed all of their stores. But five new retailers were added.