New York City had a record drop in chain stores in 2019

McDonald's in NYC.

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McDonald’s in NYC.
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Kena Betancur / Stringer/Getty Images

New York City lost 304 chain-store locations in 2019.

According to the Center for an Urban Future’s 2019 State of the Chains report, the city went from having a total of 8,136 chain stores to a total of 7,832 chain stores over the past year.

The 3.7% decrease is the largest recorded year-over-year decrease since the organization began releasing yearly reports twelve years ago.

That’s not the only record the city broke this year. According to the report, 2019 is also the first year in which all five boroughs saw a drop in chain stores. Queens dipped the most with a 4.9% decline in chain-store locations while the other four boroughs saw drops of more than 2%.

Of the 316 national chains recorded in the 2019 study, 116 chains saw a decline in store locations while 76 chains saw a net gain in store locations. The footprints of 126 chains remained the same.

According to the Center for an Urban Future, there were significant footprint pullbacks from both merchandise retailers and food chains this year. Some of those chains include Subway which got rid of 43 location, Baskin-Robbins which dropped 10 locations, Payless which closed all 71 of its NYC locations after filing for bankruptcy, and Mattress Firm which lost 20 stores.

Duane Reade-Walgreens, Starbucks, AT&T, Dunkin’ Donuts, and CVS were the only chains with footprints that grew by more than 10 locations in 2019.

The 3.7% pullback marks the second year in a row the total number of chain-store locations declined in the city. In 2018, the Center for an Urban Future reported a .3% overall decrease in the city’s chain-store locations – a tiny shift compared to this year.

The biggest national chain in the city remains Dunkin’ Donuts at 636 locations – 12 of which were added this past year. According to the report, Dunkin’ Donuts has held the number one spot since the Center for an Urban Future began releasing reports.

The second-largest chain in the city is MetroPCS with 468 location – the chain lost three locations over the past year. On the other hand, the third-largest chain in the city, Starbucks, gained 24 locations over the past year and now has a total of 351 stores across the five boroughs.

New York City isn’t the only place that’s been hit with a decrease in chain stores. As Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson previously reported, the retail industry is expected to close as many as 9,300 stores around the globe this year. Consider Destination Maternity which plans to close 183 stores in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico and has already closed 75 locations in 2019. Or the gaming retailer GameStop, which announced in September that the company will be closing 180 to 200 stores around the globe by the end of its fiscal year.