CUF Report: State of the Chains, 2023

Center for an Urban Future (CUF) recently released its 16th annual State of the Chain’s report — a ranking of national retailers in New York City. Findings of CUF’s tracking of chain retail trends reveals that over the past year the number of chain stores throughout New York City declined 3.1%, representing the “second-largest single-year decline since 2008 when CUF began tracking chain retailers, surpassed only by the first year of the pandemic (2020); while reversing the modest increase in store numbers seen in the previous two years (2021-2022). As of November 2023, the overall number of chain stores citywide was 13.8% lower, or 1,098 stores fewer than late 2019’s pre-pandemic volume; and among the retailers tracked in CUF’s 2019 report, more than 50% have fewer locations, including 11.2% who no longer have any stores in the city despite increases in people returning to the office and subway ridership. But despite continued challenges, dozens of retailers, including many newer chains are expanding their presence in New York City.