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Number of Chain Stores Continues to Decline, Queens Hardest Hit: Report

Starbucks at Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street (Google)

Dec. 26, 2019 By Kristen Torres

The number of chain stores in operation continues to fall across New York City and the decline in 2019 was greatest in Queens, according to a new report.

The Center for an Urban Future released its 2019 State of the Chains report this month and noted that the number of chain stores fell 3.7 percent across the city over the past year—from 8,136 stores to 7,852.

The borough of Queens experienced the largest decline, with the number of chain stores down 4.9 percent.

There were declines in all five boroughs—with Brooklyn down 4 percent, the Bronx 3.8 percent, Manhattan 3.1 percent and Staten Island 2.4 percent.

Clothing, cosmetics and other merchandise retailers were the hardest hit with closures this year. Stores such as Avenue lost six stores; Dress Barn four stores; and Children’s Place three stores.

Payless Shoes closed all 71 of its locations after filing for bankruptcy in February. Beauty supply chain Ricky’s shuttered 12 of its locations, with only two storefronts left in the city. The Mattress Firm closed 20 stores, GNC shut down eight, and GameStop seven locations.

The organization’s report also revealed a decline among some fast food restaurants. Subway closed 43 of its locations, Little Caesar’s closed 11 and Pizza Hut closed four.

But despite broad declines across the fast food industry, some national food chains have continued to expand in the city.

Dunkin’ Donuts remains the city’s largest national retailer, with 636 locations—up 12 from last year. Starbucks also expanded its footprint with 24 new locations to

Other popular fast food chains also opened up more locations since 2018, with Taco Bell opening eight new storefronts and Chick-fil-a and Popeyes opening six each.

The report noted that there were 316 companies that operated chain stores in New York in 2019—65 percent of them had stores in Queens.

Five companies only had storefronts in Queens, including H-Mart, Curves and True Religion, according to the report.

The zip code 11373, which is home to the Queens Center Mall, is the zip code with the greatest number of chain store locations in the borough.

Meanwhile, the zip code 11371—home to LaGuardia Airport– experienced the biggest decline in the number of chain stores in Queens. It lost eight storefronts.

State of the Chains Report 2019

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15 Comments

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Becky

Does anyone know if BJ’s Wholesale on Northern Blvd is still in the works and if so when it will be completed? I think it will be very popular and utilized if and when it opens. The local supermarkets around here are so over priced and if buying in bulk and saving a couple of dollars is an option I think most people will take advantage of it.

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Anonymous

Astoria needs and Aldi Market. Great products, great prices. By the way before everyone starts bashing Aldi, they were the founders of Trader Joe’s.

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Zak

We have politicians in Albany that imposing new regulations every year and increasing taxes that’s suffocating small businesses.Things will get worse till we get city hall and Albany more business friendly

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Eleni

Stores need to cater to the surrounding community like they used to in the past in order to survive. The dollar stores, supermarket’s (including international ones like the Greek and Arabic markets), food trucks, coffee shops/cafes, and pharmacies seem to be doing just fine. They need to find what local customers want and need daily or weekly that they would not buy on line. I also notice that medical offices are packed around here. My primary doctor has a two hour wait with the amount of people waiting to be seen and walk ins.

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Harris

Well lets see our Commissar has doubled the property taxes in less than seven yrs. Operating costs went up. How does a landlord own and operate commercial properties and not yield a profit?? Charity??

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Alison

Looking forward to the opening of Target on Ditmars! There is no where to shop in that area. That is why CVS is packed like sardines with people wondering around during the day and early evening.

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Rita

The top chain retailer stores in Queens are very popular in Astoria for many people especially locals. Most of the local residents that I know hardly go to the new restaurants because they find them over-priced, loud and crapped. The old bars though are still a big hit among the locals.

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Diane

Stores closing = lost jobs. Not very good paying jobs, but job losses nonetheless. The economy is not so great for those folks trying to find new positions elsewhere. And this whole loss of businesses and jobs is very evident on Steinway Street from 30th Avenue to Broadway. There are whole stretches with 5 to 6 empty shops in a row. Small business owners and even those who are franchise owners w/chains need help to stay in business. Isn’t there a local small business council for this?

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Jon

There’s no saving the retail places . Everything is going online. I had a nail clipper delivered from Amazon because I didn’t feel like going into CVS and I walked right passed it going to Starbucks . But Starbucks is doing great !

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pat macnamara

Contact Clueless Costa, AOC, JVB, and job killer Gianaris-ask them what they could have done. You probably voted for all of them. If you didn’t vote them out the next chance you get

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Astorian

The closures are not going to bring local vendors back. It is going to get worse with everything is getting online/mobile..

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