There was a modest increase in the number of chain stores that opened in Queens this year, according to a report released by the Center for an Urban Future.
The 10th-annual “State of the Chains” found that the borough saw a 0.9 percent increase in the number of retail chains in 2017, down from the all-time high of 5.3 percent in 2014. MetroPCS opened the most locations in the borough this year with 34. The cell phone service company now has 122 stores in the borough, making it the most represented chain next to Dunkin’ Donuts.
Queens seems to run on Dunkin’, according to the report. The chain, which tops the list of most chains in Queens, opened eight stores in the borough this year, bringing the total number of locations to 187.
Other chains reduced the number of locations in the borough. CVS closed 14 locations while Duane Reade/Walgreens shuttered eight stores.
Of the 296 retailers with locations in the five boroughs, 56 of them have more locations in Queens than any other borough. Queens has the second largest share of national retailers next to Manhattan with 23 percent.
Not surprisingly, the ZIP code 11373 in Elmhurst is home to the most retail chains in Queens with 131. This ZIP code also includes Queens Center mall.
The ZIP code that saw the largest increase of retail chains this year was 11354 in Flushing. On the other side of the spectrum, the Far Rockaway/Broad Channel ZIP code 11693 experienced no growth in the number of chains from 2016 through 2017.
The report also includes analysis of the state of city chains through the past decade. Since the first “State of the Chains” report in 2008, the number of coffee retailers jumped 65 percent with 621 locations citywide. This spike is due to the expansion of chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and more local chains.
The number of fast-food chains expanded 14 percent since 2008, with 1,261 fast-food locations calling New York City home. Fast casual chain restaurants such as Chipotle and Chop’t doubled since 2008 with 289 locations in 2017 as opposed to 141 a decade ago.
Frozen yogurt chains such as 16 Handles and Red Mango grew 283 percent since 2008, from 12 chain locations to 46 locations today. These chains hit a peak in 2014 when there were 57 locations in the city.
Ice cream chains have been declining for a decade, the report found. Since 2008, there has been a 17 percent drop, from 376 locations to 311 today.
This year, cell phone stores outnumbered clothing store chains for the first time. Cell phone chains added 621 locations in the past decade, rising from 233 locations in 2008 to 854 in 2017.
The explosion of online shopping has contributed to the decline of electronic retailers like RadioShack. There are now only 53 electronic chain stores citywide compared to 144 in 2008.
Office supply chains lost 25 percent of their locations since 2008, with 63 locations today compared to 47.
Shoe retail chains experienced a 16 percent decrease this past decade, from 239 locations to 207.
Overall, 66 percent of national retailers maintained the same number of locations as last year, compared to 2016, when just one-third of all retailers remained flat.
To view the full report, click here.