Friday, December 28, 2012
Too main chain stores spoil the nabe
From the Times Ledger:
Chain stores in Queens grew at half the rate of last year, a report released Monday showed, though their effect on the borough is not always positive, according to business experts.
“State of the Chains 2012” is an annual report published by the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based nonprofit, and showed that the city as a whole added 2.4 percent more chain stores this year, while the stores in Queens grew at a slower rate of 2.1 percent.
Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, said chains can add a value to the business landscape of the borough, but having too many of them can create a drag on the economy.
Queens boasts the second-highest number of chain stores in the city — Dunkin’ Donuts has set up more franchises in the borough than in any other — but this year ranked behind the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn in its growth rate. State Island actually lost chain stores over the last year.
The growth rate in Queens is about half of what it was in 2010 and 2011, when the borough saw a 5.4 percent increase in chains.
Heading into 2012, Queens had 1,624 of the businesses, with Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway leading the way. By the end of the year, 34 more stores had opened up shop.
“An overabundance of chain stores can attack an area’s retail fabric, usually by causing rent increases that make it impossible for small, independent businesses to thrive. This can lead to fewer unique services and products and really change a neighborhood’s character,” [Bornstein] said.