Bronx on a retail store run

The Bronx is seeing a surge in national chain stores calling the borough home.

For the fourth straight year, the number of chain stores in the borough increased, according to a new report.

The number of national retailers setting up shop in the borough shot up from 849 to 863 between 2012 and 2013, according to the report, dubbed “State of the Chains” by The Center for an Urban Future.

The increasing chain store presence came as no surprise to Lenny Caro, president of the borough’s Chamber of Commerce.

“We have the availability for franchises to move in,” he said, “and they’ve realized we have a great work pool to choose from.”

Bronx loves Dunkin’

Leading the charge with 72 Bronx locations is Dunkin Donuts, which added four borough locations in 2013. The coffee titan’s strategy of teaming up with gas stations has helped it continue to top the citywide chain list as the only national retailer with over 500 NYC locations.

But Subway is moving fast on the heels of the coffee chain, with 61 Bronx stores, including six shops installed this year. The sandwich shop has 467 locations citywide.

Parkchester zip code 10462 boasts the most retailers in the borough. It jumped from 78 chains in 2012 to 83 this year. Bringing up the rear is the Pelham Bay Park/City Island zip code 10464, which hoists a mere two chain stores.

Brooklyn grows faster

While the borough’s chain store growth continued, the pace slowed in 2013. The borough has seen steady growth over the last four years, but in 2012 the Boogie-Down was first among all boroughs with a 4.3 percent increase in chain stores.

This year Brooklyn had the biggest percent jump in chains, as its pool of national retailers swelled 2.8 percent to 1,511 stores. Staten Island also had a higher percentage jump than the Bronx, as its pool grew from 413 to 420, or 1.7 percent.

Caro argued that the Bronx did not grow as much as those boroughs this year because many of the Bronx projects remain in the pipeline. A new Macy’s, two new Applebees restaurants and a new Target are among the chains slated to open up in the next few years, he said.

“When you think about those positives, I’d be surprised if we don’t double our percentage of growth next year,” he said.

Caro and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. have long touted bringing in national chains to provide much-needed jobs in what remains the State’s most unemployed county, with the latest state Department of Labor statistics showing a 12.2 percent jobless rate in October.

“These chains have been able to create jobs,” Caro said, “And at the end of the day, that’s what our goal is.”

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742–3394

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