Chain stores increasing their stranglehold on New York street fronts and pocketbooks
Chain, chain, chains -- they've got us where they want us.
A new study by The Center for an Urban Future shows that retail chain stores are stronger than ever in New York City -- up by 2.4%, eclipsing their 1.8% gains in 2010 and 2011.
For the fifth year in a row, Dunkin' Donuts topped the list as the city's largest national retailer, adding 18 additional stores for a total of 484. Twenty-four new Subway franchises opened up, bringing its total to 454 stores. Starbucks overtook MetroPCS to regain its third-place slot, adding nine stores for a total of 272 NYC locations. Other chains marching across the municipal landscape included T-Mobile, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Panera Bread, and 7-Eleven.
Chain stores increased in every borough but Staten Island.
The fact that chains showed no slowdown during the recession indicates there is probably no stopping this "inexorable trend," said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of The Center.
"A lot of New Yorkers are frustrated by the national retailization of New York, but (chain stores) are finding an audience," continued Bowles, nothing that the Bronx, which has been historically "under retailed" experienced the fastest growth.
"We're going to see more national chains in the years ahead," he predicted. The ability of the chains to pay the higher rents that landlords are demanding "makes it that much more difficult for unique, independent businesses," to remain or get a toehold in a city, he said.