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 IHOP, Wahlburgers, 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).
[Additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein]