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New York City sees one in seven chain-store branches permanently close

New York City saw a record one in seven chain store branches, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, close this year with Manhattan suffering the biggest blow as nearly 600 businesses shut their doors.   

According to the Center for an Urban Future’s 2020 State of the Chains that was released Wednesday, the number of chain stores in the Big Apple declined by 13.3 per cent, which means some 1,132 businesses closed. 

Two per cent have closed temporarily and 11.3 per cent haven’t indicated whether the closures are permanent or temporary. 

Dunkin Donuts, which is New York City’s largest retail chain with 608 locations, lost 18 stores. The coffee chain’s competitor, Starbucks, lost 49 of its 391 branches. 

New York City saw a record one in seven chain store branches, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, close this year with Manhattan suffering the biggest blow as nearly 600 businesses shut their doors

According to the Center for an Urban Future¿s 2020 State of the Chains that was released Wednesday, the number of chain stores in the Big Apple declined by 13.3 per cent, which means some 1,132 businesses closed (a Manhattan Starbucks location pictured)

According to the Center for an Urban Future’s 2020 State of the Chains that was released Wednesday, the number of chain stores in the Big Apple declined by 13.3 per cent, which means some 1,132 businesses closed (a Manhattan Starbucks location pictured) 

Duane Reade has shuttered 70 of its 317 stores, according to the report, while GNC took a hit of closing 51 of its 99 locations. 

Other retail stores took similar hits. MAC Cosmetics closed 25 of its 34 stores; Victoria’s Secret shut 10 of its 23 locations, and Skechers closed eight of its 15 locations. 

Metro PCS is still the second-largest national retailer in the city with 334 stores despite losing 134 stores over the past year, largely due to their consolidations with parent company T-Mobile, the report shows.  

‘This is by far the largest yearover-year decline in chain stores since the Center for an Urban Future began our annual analysis of the city’s national retailers thirteen years ago, eclipsing last year’s 3.7 per cent drop and the 0.3 per cent decline in 2018,’ researchers said in the report. 

While each borough reported significant declines in chain stores, Manhattan had the largest loss of them all. 

Manhattan’s chain stores shrank by 17.4 per cent, of which 2.8 per cent were closed temporarily. The report shows that Manhattan accounted for nearly half of all chain store closures  citywide with 520 out of 1,057.  

Duane Reade/Walgreens has shuttered 70 of its 317 stores, according to the report, while GNC took a hit of closing 51 of its 99 locations

Duane Reade/Walgreens has shuttered 70 of its 317 stores, according to the report, while GNC took a hit of closing 51 of its 99 locations

Queens had the second largest decline with an 11.2 per cent decrease, of which 0.6 per cent of those were temporarily shuttered. 

Gyms also took a hard hit due to the pandemic, which forced such businesses to close their doors for months. 

SoulCycle has closed all 21 of its indoor ­facilities in the city, but offers classes online and at three outdoor locations. 

Meanwhile, some chains added branches to the city. About 40 companies saw an increase, including Popeyes. The chain added 10 locations. 

The striking statistics are largely due to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the Big Apple earlier this year when the city became the epicenter for the virus in the United States.  

The economy shed a shocking 22 million jobs after the pandemic struck. 

Many employers have since recalled some of their furloughed workers. Yet the recovery has slowed. 

Not until the end of 2023 does Moody’s Analytics foresee the US economy regaining its pre-pandemic employment level. 

In the most bruised sectors — hotels, for example, and retail — changing economic habits mean that employers may never need as many workers as they did before the pandemic. 

Even after vaccines have conquered the virus, economies have restored their health and jobless people have found work again, the economic landscape will almost surely look different. 

Among the many life-altering consequences of the year 2020, the coronavirus reshaped how people and businesses engage economically. 


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