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Chain store growth slows in NYC; Dunkin’ Donuts tops list

Dunkin' Donuts remains the largest chain in New

Dunkin' Donuts remains the largest chain in New York City, but overall growth of franchise stores slowed in 2015, according to a report issued by the Center for an Urban Future. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ramin Talaie

Chain stores continue to gobble up NYC real estate, though they’re chewing a little more slowly.

The number of chain stores in the city grew by 1% last year (compared with a 2.5% increase between 2013 and 2014).

The Bronx showing the largest year-over-year increase (3.4%), followed by smaller bumps in Brooklyn and Queens, according to the eighth annual “State of the Chains” report issued by the Center for an Urban Future. The net number of locations declined slightly in Manhattan (-0.1%) and Staten Island (-1.2%).

As of now, 300 mass market retailers — including five new chains now being tracked — have a total of 7,626 locations citywide, according the report.

“Some of the city’s largest chain stores are running out of space to expand in Manhattan. But a growing number of them are turning to the boroughs,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center.

While the pace of growth may have slowed last year, Bowles doesn’t see the relentless march of chains across the city’s streetscapes stopping. “We’ve seen an overall increase in chain stores each of the eight years we’ve done this study, so I don’t expect to see anything different in the future,” Bowles said.

Dunkin’ Donuts remained in its long held top spot as the city’s largest retailer with 568 stores city wide: That’s 32 more outlets than the Center counted in last year’s report and 124 more stores than Subway, which is in second place with 444 outlets (18 fewer than last year).

The next most common chains are MetroPCS (323 stores), Duane Reade/Walgreens (307), Starbucks (307), McDonald’s (232), T-Mobile (217), Baskin Robbins (214), Rite Aid (197) and GNC (175).

Retailers that closed a number of outlets were headlined by the financially beleaguered Radio Shack, which lost 76 locations last year and now has only 37; Bally Total Fitness, which lost 12 locations and now has only three in the city; Strawberry, which lost 11 locations and now has only seven stores; McDonald’s, which went from 243 to 232 outlets this year, and the Caribbean fast food/bakery chain Golden Krust, which went from 69 to 59 outlets. Motherhood Maternity went from 14 stores to six.

Five national retailers shuttered all the locations in NYC in the past year: Baja Fresh, Ecko Unltd., Frederick’s of Hollywood, Montblanc and Underground by Journeys.

The Center added five new national retailers to the rankings this year: Joe Coffee, Soul Cycle, Blue Mercury, Maoz Vegetarian and Dollar Tree.

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

Sprint: 70 locations, up from 28 in 2014

Fossil: 11 locations, up from 4 in 2014

Skechers : 11 locations, up from 7 in 2014

Nathan’s: 25 locations, up from 17 in 2014

Coach: 18 locations, up from 13 in 2014

Just Salad: 19 locations, up from 14 in 2014

Crunch: 16 locations, up from 12 in 2014

T-Mobile: 217 locations, up from 181 in 2014

MetroPCS: 323 locations, up from 290 in 2014

GNC: 175 locations, up from 156 in 2014

Chipotle: 58 locations, up from 50 in 2014

Sunglass Hut: 30 locations, up from 23 in 2014

Checkers: 35 locations, up from 28 in 2014

Le Pain Quotidien: 36 locations, up from 30 in 2014

Michael’s Stores: 9 locations, up from 4 in 2014

Equinox: 25 locations, up from 20 in 2014

Auntie Anne’s: 25 locations, up from 20 in 2014

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