Chain stores are tightening their viselike grip on NYC, according to a new report.
There was a 2.8% increase in chain stores citywide in 2014 -- the highest bump since the 4.1% spike from 2009-2010, according to a new study by the Center for an Urban Future, which is in its seventh year of releasing annual surveys on chain store proliferation. The surge of "same name" national retailers brings the total number of chain stores in the city up to 7,508 -- from 7,303 in 2013.
The march of homogeneity across a once varied landscape shows no sign of slowing. "Every year there are more than the year before," said Jonathan Bowles, Center for an Urban Future executive director.
Dunkin' Donuts again topped the list as the retailer with the most NYC stores, adding 21 new outlets, for a total of 536.
Queens had the highest year-over-year increase of the boroughs, with a 6.4% uptick in chain stores, bringing the borough's total to 1,770.
If there is any bright spot in the data for New Yorkers who prefer varied vendors, it is that "different chain stores are growing -- it's not just McDonald's and cellphone stores but things like Chop't (with 14 locations) and Second Time Around," which more than doubled in number, to 11 locations citywide, Bowles said. Other retailers with big growth include MetroPCS, which now has 294 locations citywide, T-Mobile with 185 locations, CVS with 140 locations and GNC with 156 locations.
Retailers that closed branches include Cold Stone Creamery, which now has only four New York City sites, down from 15 in 2013.
Ashley Stewart has lost half its 16 locations since 2013, and Crumbs Bake Shop dropped from 23 to 16 locations.