NYC Sees Slowing of Chain Store Openings as Pandemic & Online Shopping Cut into Sales - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

NYC Sees Slowing of Chain Store Openings as Pandemic & Online Shopping Cut into Sales

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

On the retail front in New York City, a new report indicates that rate of chain stores opening up for business in the Big Apple has slowed down this year and has dropped nearly 10% since the emergence of the dreaded Covid-19 virus in early 2020, the New York Post has reported.

This, of course, is good news for mom and pop stores who were pushed out due to the escalating growth of chain stores that offer lower prices on goods and provide a more extensive selection of merchandise, the Post reported.

According to the Center for an Urban Future’s annual “State of the Chains” report that was released on Wednesday, Five of the top 25 chains in New York City closed 78 outposts, as was reported by the Post.

The Post also reported that among the huge retail chain stores that had a widespread presence throughout New York City but have made the decision to close some locations are Duane Reade, Pret-A-Manger, 7-Eleven, Metro by T-Mobile and Subway sandwich shops.
The report also indicated that the number of top 25 chain stores in New York City saw an increase of merely 0.3% — to 7,299 this year from 7,279 in 2021.

When compared to pre-pandemic levels, there were 781, or 9.8%, fewer chain stores in the city in 2022 than in 2019, the Post reported. The survey defines a retail chain as having two stores in the city and one location outside the Big Apple.

Speaking to the Post, Jonathan Bowles, the agency’s executive director said, “Retailers here are treading water even as the rest of the national economy came roaring back in 2022.
Of all of New York City’s five boroughs, Manhattan in particular really felt the brunt of the closing of retail chain stores. The Post reported that it saw a decline of 14.4%, or 427, since 2019. This was due, in large part to the work-from-home trend that hit Midtown especially hard.

According to the survey, Brooklyn experienced the largest one-year increase in retail chains opening, adding 33 stores for a 2.1% increase, the Post reported. The other boroughs in the city saw little to no growth, according to the survey.

The Big Apple’s largest chain store over the last 15 years, Dunkin Donuts, has 620 stores operating throughout the city. The survey indicated that in 2022, the java joint only opened give new stores. The Post reported that in 2019, Dunkin operated 636 locations in the city.
The second largest chain store in New York City was Starbucks and they opened only six locations over the past year for a total of 316 this year, the Post reported. That was 35 fewer than it had in 2019. The Seattle-based coffee giant earned its second-place ranking because Metro by T-Mobile shrank by 16 stores to 295 locations citywide, according to the reporting provided by the Post.

Due to the spiraling crime rate throughout the Big Apple, shoplifting has become an uncontrollable plague due to the controversial bail reform laws. As such, such major drug store chains as Rite Aid and Duane Reade were adversely affected by the massive theft of merchandise at all of their locations. Taking that into account they closed a combined 107 locations since the emergence of the pandemic, the Post reported.

Bowles said that online shopping has also contributed to their diminished numbers, the Post reported. Only CVS increased its footprint, adding seven pharmacies since 2019.

Bowles also told the Post that the drugstore chains have been steadily shrinking since before the pandemic. The Post reported that he pointed to 2011 when Duane Reade and Walgreens operated 324 stores as the turning point in their growth in the Big Apple. The Post reported that Bowles added that Rite Aid peaked in 2014 with 200 stores but has steadily declined to 109 stores today.

Among the most healthy retailers are food chains in the Big Apple. The Post reported that they added more stores than any other sector, as they have in past years.

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