Study: Brooklyn leads the ‘chain’ gang

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The chains are hooked on Brooklyn!

The borough gained more national retailers this year than any other part of the city, with 75 chain stores opening between September, 2009, and September, 2010, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Manhattan-based Center for an Urban Future.

Brooklyn is now home to 1,330 corporate shops — with Dunkin’ Donuts leading the way with 126 locations, more than twice the amount of locations of Subway and McDonald’s.

The report’s key findings include:

• Flatlands is the leader of the borough’s chain gang, with 14 new national stores joining the increasingly less diverse mix. The neighborhood is now home to

146 national retailers.

• Bay Ridge was runner-up in this year’s chain race with four new stores, including Fabco Shoes on 86th Street, opening in 2010.

• Most of the action is in Downtown Brooklyn, driven by thousands of residents in new and converted buildings in and around the borough’s historic civic core. The ZIP code that includes Downtown and Brooklyn Heights — 11201 — added two stores during the survey period for a total of 126. But that number does not include many more stores that are coming or opened after September, including Aeropostale, SYMS/Filene’s Basement, Barney’s Coop, which opened on Atlantic Avenue, H&M, and the Panera sandwich shop that will be opening on Adams Street.

Corporate execs cite Downtown and Brooklyn Heights’ constant foot traffic and public transportation as the area’s main draw.

“This is an area with 43 million subway riders each year, 150,000 shoppers,” said Brittany Brag, chief operating officer for the Crown Acquisitions, landlord of the future Filene’s Basement. “The streets are always packed and any national retailer that doesn’t set up here is missing a great opportunity.”

• Just because a neighborhood is popular, that doesn’t mean that it is overrun by the man. The study shows that Williamsburg and Greenpoint — two of the youngest and trendiest neighborhoods in the borough — have the fewest national chain stores.

“Culturally, I think Williamsburg and Greenpoint are better suited for more unique spots,” said Jesse Calexico, co-owner of Calexico, which will soon open its second location in Greenpoint.

The national retail rush — and the popularity of the chain stores — will no doubt energize supporters of Walmart, the mega-chain that is hoping to open inside the Gateway II shopping center at Jamaica Bay off Shore Parkway at Erksine Street. Citywide, elected officials have blocked the Behemoth of Bentonville from opening within the five boroughs, but opinion polls show widespread support for the discount retailer — and the latest retail study shows continued support for national chains in Brooklyn.

Except, of course, from the mom and pop businesspeople they shove aside.

“Chain stores can’t outdo true Brooklyn mom-and-pop service,” said Sal Casaccio, whose pizzeria, Tony’s Famous on the corner of Fulton and Adams street, was evicted last month to make room for the Manhattan-based, soon-to-be-national burger chain Shake Shack.

Posted 12:00 am, December 22, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

jj from Brooklyn says:
And Wal-Mart's a comin!
Dec. 22, 2010, 5:53 am
Publius says:
Ugh, here comes the neighborhood.

Within a decade, this borough will be indistinguishable, from a retail standpoint, from Peoria.
Dec. 22, 2010, 12:09 pm
jj from Brooklyn says:
i guess that will be ok, since it's the people from Peoria (figuratively speaking of course) who are moving here.
Dec. 22, 2010, 12:49 pm
SFC Professor from Brooklyn Heights says:
That's evolution. Best way to put it. It began with those Peddler carts to Mom and Pops to Now Corporate stores. We just keep evolving. One part at a time.
Dec. 22, 2010, 4:07 pm
Resident from of PPW says:
I can't wait for Walmart to come to NYC. Long overdue!
Dec. 22, 2010, 4:34 pm
Really Smart Guy from Brooklyn Heights says:
Hey sfc prof, these "Peddler carts" were at one point in time innocent, but they have shed their skin of of integrity, and have evolved into deceitful slimy-snakes that need to be watched. The consequences would be dire for the personalities of these neighborhoods if we do not act with vigilance to thwart the powerful, intricate webs of corporate evil.

And yes, I am very pissed that they are getting rid of Tony's pizza for a goddamn "maid in manhattan" shake shack.
Dec. 22, 2010, 7:37 pm
SFC Professor from Brooklyn Heights says:
@Really Smart Guy, you're mad at a place that will probably employee a friend of yours who will receive benefits, a good income and possibly promotional opportunities in the years to come, also you don't mention that you don't shop in these places, which if you do, I feel is quite ironic...don't you think? In my perspective, if these chains fail, they fail. It's the public that you should blame for the overall acceptance into their community. For example take Trader Joe's. People LOVE Trader Joe's. Is it a corporation/franchise YES! Is it bad, NO. But, you never hear anyone complain about how bad they are to the community...well aside from the pick pockets there. But in all honesty, it's the public's acceptance that's making these places come. Also, just to let you know, you can't push blame on a place that would like to conduct business in the spot of a place you loved.
Dec. 22, 2010, 8:16 pm
Really Smart Guy from Brooklyn Heights says:
@ SFC prof.

1. I don't shop at any of these new stores. I do like to go to Macy's once in a while, but that's not "new" in the terms we are talking about. Also, most likely, I will not lnow anyone that will be an employee at one of these new places, but I sure do know people who will lose their jobs because their replacements are kicking them out.
2. One chain might fail out of the 50 million new ones that will replace it (that's an exaggeration made for the point of emphasis).
3. Who can control public opinion nowadays expect for politicians and people with exponential amounts of fame or money? Blaming the public would be virtually pointless unless I could band the troops together and march on Washington. Too bad I don't have time for rabble rousing and rebellious shenanigans.
4. Tony's pizza is unique to the neighborhood and is the kind of Brooklyn element that has drawn all of these new residents to these new apartments and condominiums in the first place.
5. I don't want to get into a full-fledged argument over Brooklyn's gentrification, but I will add that without the original Brooklyn flavor, there would be no Mango Tango, Shake Shack, or H&M to settle the exquisite tastes of these newly arrived "saviors" of Brooklyn. What I am getting at is the fact that we are currently under a rapid-changing environment that has left our entire borough with uncertainties for the future that will not necessarily bode well for everyone. Considering all of the new "amenities" to the borough, these factors do not mean permanent improvements, but rather, very dubious future positions for the lower classes that still exist.
Dec. 22, 2010, 9:56 pm
SFC Professor from Brooklyn Heights says:
@Really Smart Guy

I respect your comment about this not going in to a full fledged argument and won't go anywhere near that in anyway possible.

But let me express the idea that if you do want Brooklyn Flavor, why stop in the heights? Park Slope is full of Brooklyn and so is Bensonhurst. As well as Bed-Stuy and Canarsie. But what I'm trying to understand is why can't people accept that Brooklyn is now developing into this "Metropolis-esque" area, but people who work in Manhatten and wished they could afford an apartment in Manhatten just to be around the stores and places there don't want to live in the same "up and coming" area in Brooklyn. Plus I'm born and raised in here in Brooklyn my entire life.

An for a person who has gone through quite a change in seeing how Carroll Gardens and the Heights has drastically changed from what it was in the 50's to now in the present day, I have to say I'm pretty happy. Just because you feel that these small stores are getting replaced doesn't mean people aren't going to come to an area just because of the near by stores but they come for the area itself. Plus, just to express myself further, these big companies will settle here not because of other business but due to demographics.

I'm a rent controlled tenant and I pay 350 bucks a month. My neighbor pays 3,000, but when companies like Wal-Mart or Target look at the demographic they look at the specific targeted marketed area's age. Business is business. Sometimes good and sometimes as they say it now and "Epic fail." An if you want to talk about a good Pizzeria, I miss Nino's on Union st. Back in the early 90's Pizza there tasted perfect. So I do compensate on understanding how you feel about these big companies coming in and taking over.
Dec. 22, 2010, 11:48 pm
Real Smart Guy from Brooklyn Heights says:
When you say, "just b/c you feel that these small stores are getting replaced doesn't mean people aren't going to come to an area just because of the near by stores but they come for the area itself.", it makes my argument sound subjective when it's in reality objective. These stores ARE being replaced, it's not my opinion.

Where are you paying $350 a month in Brooklyn?

I've lived here my whole life too (I was born in the 80's though lol).

Well, that was 2 cents and a half. If you want to talk about Brooklyn's recent changes more let me know, I have many more arguments stocked in my arsenal.
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:20 am
Richard Grayson from Williamsburg says:
Really Smart Guy, you don't go to most chain stores but you go to Macy's once in a while? The Brooklyn chant of the 1940s and 1950s went like this:

I won't go to Macy's any more, more, more
There's a big fat policemen at the door, door, door
He'll squeeze you like a lemon
A kolatchkazollenemon
No, I won't go to Macy's anymore.
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:42 pm
Larry Littlefield from Windsor Terrace says:
Most national chains are local stores that were successful and were replicated.

What I want to know is, where are the New York stores that are expanding out, as opposed to stores from elsewhere coming in?
Dec. 23, 2010, 8:22 pm
chester from Fort Greene says:
Brooklyn will never be the same. I can say I don't mind the changes in the Fulton mall however what makes brooklyn uniquie is the people and the people that own certain stores. Its like family and most people who are not from brooklyn and come to live here will never understand that. ITs like they want brooklyn to be just like there neighborhood they just came from in "somewhere" America. With a wallmart, cosco, etc all the things within a stones throw. Well before all of that there were mom and pop stores and a true trendsetters with good businesses in the boro. Awwww brooklyn lets remain unique please...the chain stores can stay in manhattan
Dec. 23, 2011, 1:56 pm

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