Study: Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway are largest chains in New York City

New York -- Dunkin’ Donuts is the chain with the most locations in New York City, operating 515 stores across the five boroughs, according to The Center for an Urban Future’s sixth annual “State of the Chains” study. Subway is the second largest national retailer in the city with 467 locations. Rounding out the top ten are: Duane Reade/Walgreens (with 318 stores), Starbucks (283), MetroPCS (261), McDonalds (240), Baskin Robbins (202), Rite Aid (190), T-Mobile (161) and GNC (138).

The study shows that the expansion of chain stores across the city slowed considerably over the past year, even as Dunkin’ became the first national retailer with more than 500 stores across the five boroughs. There was only a 0.5% increase in the number of national retail locations in New York City between 2012 and 2013, the smallest year-over-year increase since the center  began compiling data on the city’s national retailers in 2008 — and down from a 2.4% gain between 2011 and 2012.

Although there has been a net increase in the number of national chain stores in the five boroughs for the past six years, two boroughs — Manhattan and Queens — experienced a decline in the number of chain stores between 2012 and 2013. Of the five boroughs, Brooklyn experienced the largest increase in the number of chain stores over the past year. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of national retail locations in Brooklyn increased by 2.8%, going from 1,470 stores last year to 1,511 stores this year.

There are now 15 retailers with more than 100 stores across the city, up from 14 last year. Over the past year, 7-Eleven became the latest retailer with at least 100 locations in New York; it expanded from 97 stores in 2012 to 124 today.

Other retailers that expanded their presence in 2013 include Just Salad, L’Occitane, Trader Joes, Chop’t and Claire’s Accessories. Still 29% of the national retailers on the center’s list reduced their footprint in the city over the past year, compared to 24% last year — with prominent retailers like Daffy’s and Blockbuster closing their New York stores entirely during the past year, and others such as Qdoba, Brookstone, Staples, Tasti D-Lite and Sunglass Hut downsizing significantly.

Every year, the Center adds new national retailers to its ranking. This year, it added Buffalo Exchange, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moe’s Southwestern Grill and Second Time Around. Overall, there are 306 retailers on the Center’s list this year. Together, they have 7,250 stores across the five boroughs.

Click here for the full report.