Chain Retailers Close 781 NYC Locations Since 2019

According to a recent analysis, New York City chain retailers, which frequently drive away mom-and-pop businesses, have decreased by over 10% since the pandemic. According to the New York Post, five of the top 25 chains in the city closed 78 locations. Metro by T-Mobile, Duane Reade, Subway, 7-Eleven, and Pret-A-Manger were among the companies that reduced their presence in the city.

The Center for an Urban Future’s annual “State of the Chains” report revealed the total number of the top 25 chains in the city climbed by just 0.3%, from 7,279 in 2021 to 7,299 this year. In 2022, there were 781, or 9.8% fewer chain stores in the city than in 2019. The study defines a retail chain as having two locations inside the city and one outside New York City.

Jonathan Bowles of The Center for an Urban Future stated, “Retailers here are treading water even as the rest of the national economy came roaring back in 2022.” The number of retail businesses closing their doors was highest in Manhattan, where it fell by 14.4%, or 427, since 2019, partly due to the work-from-home trend, which was particularly detrimental to Midtown.

While the other boroughs had little to no growth, Brooklyn experienced the highest one-year spike, adding 33 stores for a 2.1% gain, according to the report. Even Dunkin, the city’s most prominent retailer over the past 15 years with 620 locations, only launched five new locations in 2022. In 2019, the popular donut and coffee shop had 636 locations. 

The city’s second-largest chain, Starbucks, opened six new locations this year for a total of 316, down from 351 in 2019. The Seattle-based coffee behemoth moved up to the second position as a result of Metro by T-mobile’s statewide reduction of 16 outlets to 295. Additionally, Rite Aid and Duane Reade have collectively shuttered 107 outlets after being the victims of widespread shoplifting.

However, Chipotle opened ten new locations in 2022, bringing it up to 105, Wingstop added nine for a total of 28 restaurants, and Taco Bell opened seven new locations bringing its total to 75.

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