‘Big boxes’ at home in Bklyn

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn may be the borough of mom-and-pop shops, but it’s no slouch when it comes to national retail stores, according to a recently released Center for an Urban Future study.

Leading the way of the national chains in Brooklyn is coffee king Dunkin’ Donuts, which has 101 stores in Brooklyn, up from 89 stores last year.

The rest of the top five in Brooklyn are: Subway, with 61 shops, up from 57 last year; McDonalds, with 59 stores, up from 57 last year; Baskin-Robbins, with 56 stores, down from 58 last year; and Rite Aid, with 50 stores, down from 57 last year.

Borough residents also appear to be big on computer games. GameStop had the biggest increase in Brooklyn percentage-wise, growing to 20 stores up from 16 boroughwide, while Starbucks only grew with one outlet from 18 to 19 stores in the borough.

Brooklyn does appear to enjoy both West Indian food and fried chicken as the chains of Golden Krust, KFC and Popeye’s all showed the most stores in Brooklyn compared to any other borough.

There are 27 Golden Krust stores in the borough compared to the Bronx that came in second with 17; 24 KFCs compared to 21 in Queens; and 21 Popeye’s compared to second-place finisher Queens with 16.

Overall, Manhattan has the most national retail stores of any other borough with 2,552, followed by Queens with 1,448 and then Brooklyn with 1,256.

The leading Brooklyn zip code with national retailers is 11234 in the Marine Park/Flatlands area, home to the Kings Plaza Shopping Center. The zip code has 132 national chain stores, according to the study.

Other zip codes in Brooklyn with a large number of national retailers are 11201 (Brooklyn Heights), with 124 national retail stores; 11209 (Bay Ridge), with 70 stores; and 11226 (Flatbush), with 66 stores.

The five zip codes in the borough with the smallest number of national chain stores include 11251 (Navy Yard area) with no chain stores; 11252 (Fort Hamilton) with two stores; 11241 (Downtown Brooklyn) with three stores; 11231 (Red Hook) with 11 stores; and 11233 (Bedford-Stuvesant/Crown Heights) with 12 stores.

The report also shows that some of the highest-profile chains from last year’s study were hit hard by the deep economic downturn and accompanying drop in consumer spending. Circuit City, Burritoville, Levitz, 1-800-Mattress and KB Toys are among a handful of large stores that have declared bankruptcy in the last year, while Rite Aid, Blimpie, AT&T Wireless, Tasti D-Lite and several others have considerably reduced their footprint in the five boroughs over the same period.

The Manhattan-based think tank began the survey last year to provide a statistical backdrop to the growing debate about whether the city’s mom-and-pop stores are getting squeezed out by national chains.

“We decided to make this an annual publication, since doing so allows us to track ongoing changes and trends in the city’s retail picture,” said Center for an Urban Future Director Jonathan Bowles.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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