Western Brooklyn

Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge Among Nabes With Most Chain Stores In Brooklyn: Report

(Photo: m01229 / Flickr)
(Photo: m01229 / Flickr)

Brooklynites love to patronize their homegrown businesses. And indeed, it’s often the mom-and-pop shops that give a neighborhood its character. However, over the last decade, mega franchises like McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Dunkin Donuts have ramped up their presence in the borough, and throughout the city, according to research from the Center for an Urban Future.

According to the latest edition of center’s annual State of the Chains report, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge both made the top 10 list of neighborhoods with the greatest number of national franchises. The report lists the zip codes 11209 and 11214 as having the third and seventh most retailers in Brooklyn.

We’ve reported on the slew of fast food chains that set up shop in Coney Island over the summer — including IHOPWahlburgers, and Checkers — but the report notes that the number of franchises in zip 11224 actually fell by 6 percent in 2015 — from 31 stores to 29. However, the number of chain businesses in neighboring 11229, which comprises the northern part of Sheepshead Bay as well as Gerritsen Beach, has increased by five percent — from 55 stores to 58.

Meanwhile the zip code covering Marine Park, Flatlands, Bergen Beach, and Mill Basin, came in second in Brooklyn and sixth in New York City for having the most name-brand stores. The report notes that the Kings Plaza shopping center is located in that zip code.

Overall, Brooklyn experienced a 2.6 percent increase this year in the number of name brands occupying storefronts, outpacing every other borough except the Bronx. However, the pace of national chains moving into Brooklyn is slowing compared to the years before — growth was 3.3 percent last year and 2.8 percent the year before.

And Brooklyn still has ways to go to catch up to Manhattan which at 2,804 national retailers, dwarves Brooklyn’s 1,600 stores.

Some of the chains moving most aggressively this year to snap up spots in Brooklyn are Sprint (from 5 in 2014 to 25 in 2015), Dunkin Donuts (from 125 in 2014 to 135 in 2015), and Metro PCS (from 107 in 2014 to 117 in 2015).

A few big brands also appear to be pulling out of the borough, including Radio Shack, Bally Total Fitness, and McDonald’s, the report found.

[Additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein]

Comment policy


  1. Enough with the chain stores and 99-cent stores. Rite Aid and Walgreen’s at least serve a purpose for prescriptions. I refuse to shop at CVS — worst customer service I’ve ever encountered at both 18th Avenue locations. As for the 99-cent stores, they’re okay for purchasing disposable cooking pans, but does the neighborhood really need one on every block? Bring back the Mom and Pop stores, and get rid of the illegal “sweat shops” and the new crop of massage parlors. Every time they’re shut down, weeks later they reopen under new names at different locations.

  2. The 99 cent stores are Mom & Pop stores. All independently owned by locals. We don’t have Dollar Trees and other chain 99 cent stores around here.

  3. That’s true, but they all sell basically the same low quality merchandise. If, for example, I purchase a frying pan — I would rather spend more and have something that will last more than six months.

  4. That’s stretching the definition of “traditional” Mom and Pop stores, most of which provided quality merchandise or services and were customer-friendly.

  5. I would disagree. “Mom & Pop” simply meant businesses owned by families in the community (as opposed to corporate entities/chains from “away”). No stretching of definitions required, since that’s what we have.

    The 99ers around my block are incredibly friendly. I always get a smile, and all the assistance I need, every time I go in. We’ve got on 99ers near my house that’s been in business since I moved
    to my current home 20 years ago. The owners are lovely people, who even
    display photos that customers send them.

    Quite frankly, I get good quality merchandise at my local 99ers. Perfectly fine hardware for small home projects when I don’t feel like trekking to Home Depot. Perfectly fine paper and party goods, now that we lost Party Fair. It might not be name brand, but it’s no less quality than buying the supermarket “generic” brand canned goods. And, I know my money stays in the community because I know where the owners live and shop.

  6. No surprise that Radio Shacks are closing, as the chain is bankrupt. According to CNN: “Alaska is the only state where no closings have been announced. The state with the most closings is California, with 175, followed by New York and the company’s home state of Texas. Vermont has only 2 stores slated to close.”


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