And if you think many of those empty storefronts were replaced by mobile phone stores, you are also correct.
2019 saw the largest number of closings of shoe and clothing chains, coffee shop and ice cream chains, fast food and fast casual dining chains, and health and beauty chains, and the largest gains by mobile phone stores.
There also were many closings of favorite local shops and restaurants, incuding Dean and DeLuca and Barney’s.
See the complete list here, in this NYCOTC posting
A record number of 124 chains shut down locations in various parts of the city, some disappearing entirely from the five boroughs, while gains were made by .
According to the Center for an Urban Future, which tracks such things, it was the largest decline in a decade.
The pullback was largest among retailers feeling the competition pinch online shopping, with the declines among retailers selling clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics.
And, the pullback was largest in Manhattan, where rents also tend to be higher than elsewhere in NYC. In every other borough, the number of chain stores increased again in 2019.
The retailer with the single biggest drop in stores was Subway, which had a massive 103-store decrease in shop locations, according to the survey.
Dunkin Donuts is the biggest national retailer in the city for the tenth year running, with 624 locations, adding 12 locations since 2018.
Subway is still in third place with 330 locations despite having lost 103 locations since last year.
Only seven retailers grew by more than 10 locations: AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Dollar Tree.
Starbucks has more stores in Manhattan than any other national retailer, with 227 locations.
Here are more winners and losers from the report, known as State of the Chains:
Although more than three dozen national food retailers increased their presence over the past year, there were roughly as many food retailers closing stores, with the biggest losses among fast food sandwich shops and ice cream stores.
Food chains with declines include:
Subway (-103), McDonalds (-8), Au Bon Pain (-7), ’wichcraft (5), Checkers (-6), Panera Bread (-5), Wingstop (-5), Potbelly Sandwich Shop (-2), Cosi (-2), Quiznos (-2), Hale and Hearty Soups (-2), and Le Pain Quotidien (-2).
Ice cream stores with declines include:
16 Handles (-4), Tasti D-Lite (-3), Ben & Jerry’s (-2), Häagen-Dazs (-2), Red Mango (-2), and Cold Stone Creamery (-1),
Food chains adding locations:
Coffee shops had a net gain of 27 locations, with the growth concentrated in half of the eight coffee chains on the list, Starbucks (+15), Dunkin’ Donuts (+12), Blue Bottle Coffee (+2), and Joe Coffee (+1).
There were also considerable gains among chain food retailers, with some surprising increases among traditional fast food restaurants, continued growth by fast casual chains, and sharp gains among bubble tea shops.
Traditional fast food chain restaurants that added stores include:
Burger King (+9), Domino’s Pizza (+7), Taco Bell (+6), Popeyes (+4), Panda Express (+4), Wendy’s (+3), Chick-fil-A (+3), Boston Market (+3), Five Guys (+2), and Golden Krust (+2).
Fast casual chains increasing their footprint include:
Chipotle (+5), Pret A Manger (+5), sweetgreen (+4), Dig Inn (+4), Shake Shack (+4), Bareburger (+2), Fresh & Co (+2), Just Salad (+1), and Chop’t Creative Salad Co. (+1).
Bubble tea chains that added stores include:
Vivi’s Bubble Tea (+5), Gong Cha (+4), and Kung Fu Tea (+3).
A record 18 retailers closed all of their locations in 2019:
bakery Crumbs Bake Shop; shoe retailers Aerosoles, Nine West, Rockport, Traffic Shoes, Easy Spirit, and Stride Rite; fitness clubs David Barton Gym and Gold’s Gym, fast food retailers Quiznos, KyoChon, and Chevy’s Fresh Mex; clothing retailers Afaze and DKNY; cosmetics retailer Bare Minerals; and retailer Brookstone.
Also gone, via bankruptcy and the closing of stores nationwide:
electronics retailer Radio Shack; toy store Toys ‘R’ Us.
Clothing and accessory chains in New York City
Clothing retailers with declines over the past year include:
BCBG Max Azria (a loss of 7 stores), Bolton’s (-6), Aeropostale (-5), Club Monaco (-5), True Religion (-5), Gap (-4), Dr Jays (-4), Thomas Pink ( 3), Bebe (-3), Brooklyn Industries (-3), Armani Exchange (-2), Chico’s (-2), Kenneth Cole (-1), and Banana Republic (-1).
Shoe companies with declines include:
Aerosoles (-13), Nine West (-3), Geox (-3), Fabco Shoes (-3), Rockport (-2), Traffic Shoes (-2), Easy Spirit (-1), Famous Footwear (-1), and Stride Rite (-1).
Accessories stores with reductions include:
Sunglass Hut (-8), Lids (-7), Claire’s (-4), Fossil (-4), Laila Rowe (-2), Solstice Sunglass Boutique (-2), and Coach (-1).
Phone companies increased their footprint in 2019:
MetroPCS (now called Metro by T-Mobile, but retaining a distinct brand) has 472 locations, up from 444 in 2018.
AT&T: 118 locations, up from 60 the previous year and 85 in 2008
MetroPCS: 472 locations, up from 444 the previous year and just 7 in 2009
Sprint: 107 locations, up from 81, and just 25 in 2008
T-Mobile: 252 locations, up from 236, and 82 in 2008