Brooklyn, champion of homegrown artisan crap, led the city in retail chain growth in 2013

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Coming soon to your apartment. via Flickr user Devlyn

We all know about Brooklyn’s reputation for handmade, locally-sourced artisan products. If that gin wasn’t made in someone’s bathtub, why, you may as well just pour it down the sink, some goon in Peoria can drink Hendrick’s, but not us. But according to a new report by the Center for the Urban Future, Brooklyn’s veneer of artisan loyalty could just be a window shade of lies, because the number of retail chains in Brooklyn actually went up in the past year. In fact, there’s probably one in your apartment at this very moment.

The report, State of the Chains, found that 41 more chains opened in Brooklyn in 2013, with the total number going from 1,470 to 1,511. The percentage increase of 2.8% was the largest in the city, although Manhattan and Queens still lead the city with 2,779 and 1,653 retail chains respectively. Dunkin’ Donuts and their vaguely donut-like foodstuff leads the pack in Brooklyn with 123 stores, followed by MetroPCS and Subway with 93 and 90 stores. Somehow we only have 54 McDonald’s though, so there’s that.

Despite its reputation as a tony historical district, Brooklyn Heights is tied for lead with Flatlands in number of chain stores in the borough with 140, and welcomed 8 more chains this year. On the other hand, residents of Greenpoint and Downtown Brooklyn should probably keep an eye out for more Dunkin Donuts, because with just one and two chains in their zip codes respectively, they’re probably seen by retail folks as “areas of growth opportunities” or whatever people with MBAs say at meetings. We don’t know, we’re freaking writers over here.

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  1. Its a bit misleading to look at growth as a percentage and say Brooklyn is leading. The borough has also been growing in population at a rate of 2.4%, faster than Manhattan’s 2.1%.

    Moreover, Brooklyn still has more people than Manhattan — 900,000 more — while 1,100 fewer chain stores.

    The more accurate number to look at is the chain-store-per-thousand people ratio.

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