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National Brands Are Slowly Leaving Manhattan For Outer Borough Frontiers

Times Square New York City

Like pioneers on the Oregon Trail (minus the dysentery), national retailers are expanding outward.

Over the course of 2016, a Center for an Urban Future report found, the number of national retailers increased in every borough but Manhattan.

The Bronx had the biggest growth, with 36 new chain stores, a 4.2% year-over-year increase. Close behind was Staten Island, which added 15 more stores for a 3.7% increase, followed by Brooklyn (2.3%) and Queens (1.6%). Manhattan lost 89 stores in 2016, a 0.9% decrease. It still makes up 37% of NYC’s total number of chains, however, with 7,154 stores. Queens was a distant second with 23%.

Dunkin' Donuts has the largest empire, with 596 locations. While it easily outnumbered brands in the outer boroughs, it’s behind Starbucks and Duane Reade in Manhattan.

The top grower was Dollar Tree (63 new stores, 22 of which are in Manhattan), followed by Crunch gym, Sprint, Family Dollar, CVS (which opened 13 new locations in Queens, the most of any brand in a single borough), Popeye’s, Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks and 7-Eleven

Tim Horton’s closed half its NYC locations. Nine West, Aerosoles, The Children’s Place, FedEx Office, Staples, Foot Locker, GameStop, McDonald’s and Subway also fared poorly, but not as bad as the 11 chains—Hollywood Tans, Arthur Treacher's, Gordon's Jewelers, Bakers Shoes, OfficeMax, Naturalizer, Square One, Ranch One, Cache, Joyce Leslie and Benetton—that left the city completely.

Overall, chain growth has begun to slow with only 20% of chains increasing their city footprint, compared to 33% last year. The total number of stores remained relatively flat, with 33% of chains closing locations counterbalancing the growth.

Related Topics: Center for an Urban Future