CUF Report: State of the Chains, 2022

Center for an Urban Future (CUF) released its 15th annual ranking of national retailers in New York City. Findings of CUF’s tracking of chain retail trends reveals that “despite continued recovery from the sector’s steep contraction in 2020,” the 0.3 percent 2022 increase in chain locations was a fraction of last year’s 2.7 percent increase, with most national retailers not close to reaching their pre-pandemic levels. The loss of chain locations is significantly greater in Manhattan compared to the other four boroughs. In contrast, Brooklyn saw the largest one-year increase in the number of chain retailer locations. A comparison with CUF’s 2019 report finds that among the national retailers featured at the time, 57 percent have fewer locations than in 2022, including 11 percent who no longer have any stores in the city — diminished office occupancy and accelerated online shopping are contributing factors to the slow recovery. Merchandise retailers saw the biggest year-over-year declines for the fourth consecutive year, while food retailers fared better.