The Real Deal New York

For the first time since 2007, retailers are closing more chain stores than they’re opening

The number of chain stores declined 0.3 percent to 7,849, according to a study
December 19, 2018 09:45AM

(Credit: Getty Images)

The rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon have changed consumers’ relationships with their retailers. And the effects are being felt on the streets of New York City.

For the first time since before the 2008 financial crisis, retailers are closing more stores than they are opening.

This year, the number of chain-store locations in New York shrunk by 0.3 percent to 7,849, according to the New York Post. Citing a report by the Center for an Urban Future, the outlet reported a total of 18 renowned retailers, including Toys ‘R’ Us, Nine West and DKNY, shuttered all of their New York sites, some due to bankruptcy proceedings.

“The number of chain stores always went up here, even in the recession,” Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future, told the Post. “But this year we saw an acceleration of merchandise retailers close up shop.”

Clothing stores were the hardest hit, with 36 closures, while another 124 retailers, including McDonald’s, Subway and Staples minimized their footprints. However, it wasn’t all that bad for Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, which added 12 and 15 stores, respectively.

The findings are in stark contrast to the 2017 market, which recorded an increase in openings by 1.8 percent, even though 65 chains shrank in New York.

While many point to Amazon’s effect on brick and mortar retailers, the e-commerce giant is pushing into the realm itself and will open a cashier free store at Brookfield Place. It expects to open 3,000 such stores across the country by 2021. [NYP] —David Jeans