The Bronx has seen the highest growth in chain stores of any borough in the past year, according to an annual ‘State of the Chains’ report by the Center for an Urban Future.
The study showed that national retailer growth throughout NYC as a whole slowed significantly in 2015 – however the number of chains in the Bronx increased by 3.5 percent with 30 new locations opening in the area.
For the past eight years CUF has analyzed the number and region of national retailers and put together this report as a way to track challenges and opportunities each district may face.
The number of chains decreased in Manhattan and Staten Island by small percentages.
Queens and Brooklyn saw increases but not to the extent of the Bronx.
So which chains are taking over? Well America runs on Dunkin – and apparently so does the Bronx which is home to 80 locations of the coffee house chain.
Baskin Robbins added one location, T-Mobile and Starbucks added two locations, GNC added four, and Metro PCS gained a whooping 10 locations in the borough last year.
This study comes at a time when many small businesses are being priced out of the Bronx rental market.
Contributing to the higher Bronx number were the renovation and opening of new malls in the borough.
Joe Thompson, executive director of the White Plains Road Business Improvement District said he has noticed that fewer mom and pop stores have been able to survive past the expiration of their leases.
“We don’t want to lose our identity,” said Thompson, “But its not all bad. When chain stores come in they have broader recognition, and the stores are well maintained, they are good so long as they don’t become disproportionate”.
He also mentioned that some chains coming into the area realize they need to adapt to the community and manage to maintain a small-store flavor often not conducive to corporate outlets, noting the McDonalds in his district that has been owned and operated by the same people for 20 years.
“A number of years ago we were pretty down,” said Thompson of business in the area, “These stores coming in, they want to be here now… and we are looking for a resurgence, because if we don’t grow again then we die.”
Parkchester is home to the highest number of chain stores in the Bronx with 89 locations in the 10462 zip code alone.
As a whole the borough has 12 chain stores per square mile, and 944 locations in total.
Citywide, Dunkin Donuts is the largest chain retailer with a total of 568 outlets across the five boroughs, followed by Subway and MetroPCS.
The analysis covered the period of July 2014 to June 2015.