Study Shows National Retail Chains Increase Footprint In Harlem

December 15, 2016

east-harlem sliderThe presence of national chain retailers — such as Starbucks, Subway and 7-Eleven — has increased in Harlem, according to a new study from the Center for an Urban Future.

The study titled “State of the Chains, 2016” is the center’s eight-annual report on national chains in New York City. The Center for an Urban Future — which describes itself as “a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York City” — defines a national chain as any store that has two location within NYC limits and one location outside of the city.

In its study the Center for an Urban Future broke down the number of national retailers by zip code and calculated which zip codes experienced an uptick. Two of the seven zip codes that span Harlem — 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10035, 10037 and 10039 — saw an increase in the presence of national chains, four have the same number and one saw a decrease. The neighborhood has a net gain of 4 national chain stores this year, according to the study.

Here’s how the numbers broke down:


  • 10026 (South Harlem): 19 national retailers in 2016 compared to 17 in 2015.
  • 10027 (Central Harlem): 68 national retailers in 2016 compared to 68 in 2015.
  • 10029 (East Harlem): 54 national retailers in 2016 compared to 55 in 2015.
  • 10030 (Central Harlem): 8 national retailers in 2016 compared to 8 in 2015.
  • 10035 (East Harlem): 39 national retailers in 2016 compared to 36 in 2015.
  • 10037 (East Harlem): 4 national retailers in 2016 compared to 4 in 2015.
  • 10039 (Upper Harlem): 16 national retailers in 2016 compared to 16 in 2015.

The data shows more national retailers are moving into Harlem than those moving out, mirroring a trend consistent throughout the city. The number of national retailers throughout all five borough increased by 1.2 percent — from 7,154 stores to 7,243 — an rate greater than the 1 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

“This is the eighth consecutive year with a net increase in national chain stores in the five boroughs,” the study stated.

The increased city-wide presence of national retailers was spurred by strong growth in the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn, according to the study. The number of national retailers in Manhattan actually decreased in 2016. But despite the decrease in Manhattan, the city’s busiest borough still tops the list when it comes to the number of national retail stores.

Read the full Center for an Urban Future study here.


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