The Real Deal New York

NYC’s neighborhood grocery stores are going extinct

Approximately 300 family-owned greengrocers closed between 2005 and 2015
November 05, 2016 02:00PM

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John Catsimatidis and a Gristedes store (credit: Getty Images)

The New York corner store, a staple of neighborhood life, is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Many of the city’s grocery stores, large and small, are shuttering because of high rent, thin profit margins and increased competition from drugs stores such as Duane Reade, which are increasingly offering groceries, the New York Times reported.

Approximately 300, or 8 percent, of the city’s family-owned greengrocers closed between 2005 and 2015, according to data from retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group cited by the Times.

Larger stores were not immune, either. Garden of Eden filed for bankruptcy this summer and D’Agostino, which was bailed out with a line of credit from Gristedes mogul John Catsimatidis in August, now has only nine locations in the city, down from 26 in 1996. Gristedes has also closed two of its locations on the Upper East Side since last year.

“The rent is too high — nobody is making ‘money, money,’” Catsimatidis told the Times. “Every corner has a Duane Reade.”

One New Yorker whose local Gristedes, at 81st Street and East End Avenue, was shuttered to make way for an 18-story condominium project said she was dismayed.

“Look how many more people are coming,” Arline Bronzaft told the Times. “High-rise buildings are coming onto a block where there is no food. Does that make sense?” [NYT] Katherine Clarke