More than 1,000 chain stores closed in New York in 2020
According to the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), retail chains shuttered more than 1,000 stores in New York this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the largest number of closures recorded by the think tank in the 13 years since it began tracking the figure.
There are currently 6,891 chain stores operating across New York’s five boroughs, down 13.3% from 7,948 at the end of 2019. By comparison, the decrease in retail store numbers between 2018 and 2019 was only 3.7%. It is worth noting, however, that 2020 is the first year that CUF has included 160 temporary closures in its count.
Out of the five boroughs, Manhattan saw the biggest number of chain store closures in 2020, accounting for 520 of the total 1,057 closures in the city, or 49%.
Both clothing and accessories stores and beauty destinations have closed 22% of their locations in New York over the last twelve months. The only categories with higher rates of closures in the city in 2020 were vitamin and food supplement stores, 41% of which were shuttered, health clubs, studios and gyms (36%), casual bakeries (30%), and cell phone retailers (24%).
Among the clothing and accessories retailers shuttering their New York locations, BCBG Max Azria permanently closed all six of its stores, as did tween fashion chain Justice, sold to Bluestar Alliance by Ascena in November, as part of the latter’s bankruptcy process.
Other brands that shuttered all of their New York locations in 2020 include New York & Co, which ran 17 stores in the city at the end of 2019, Brooklyn Industries, Lucky Brand Jeans and Motherhood Maternity, while Jimmy Jazz currently lists all 26 of its stores as temporarily closed.
The number of chain beauty stores and salons in New York fell from 148 to 116 in 2020, with a large number of closures contributed by MAC Cosmetics, which cut its fleet in the city from 34 locations to 9.
Bluemercury, Bath & Body Works, L’Occitane and Perfumania all shuttered one store each, while Sephora and The Body Shop actually made minor expansions to their New York retail fleets.
CUF’s annual State of the Chains report is based on a tally of chain retailer store locations across New York, broken down by retailer, borough and ZIP code.
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