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Does Brooklyn Suffer From a Lack of Gas Stations? The Chamber of Commerce Thinks So

For the center of the hipster universe, the Brooklyn Chamber's recommendations may come as a surprise.
November 1, 2015, 9am PST | Emily Calhoun
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According to Erik Engquist of Crain's New York, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has just released a new study claiming that the borough is missing out on $6 billion of retail opportunities.

"Business leaders in Brooklyn have long suspected that local shoppers were spending lots of their dollars elsewhere. Now they have numbers that not only prove it, but reveal the most gaping holes in the borough's retail landscape," writes Engquist.

Despite the fact that only 44 percent of Brooklynites own a car, the Chamber apparently laments the dearth of auto parts and repair shops, dealerships, and gas stations, claiming that the missed retail opportunities amount to $2.6 billion for dealerships and $1.3 billion for gas stations.

Chamber President and CEO Carlo Scissura also points to the food deserts that exist in some of the borough's neighborhoods as well as the lack of general merchandise stores. He wants the city to do more to encourage big-box retailers to move in by rezoning for larger establishments. Referring to Target, he said, "I'd love to see another five of them open up across Brooklyn."

Although the Chamber has capitalized on the appeal of Brooklyn's independent spirit with it's "Made in Brooklyn" certification program, Engquist's report on the study indicates that the Chamber believes there is an unmet demand for the conveniences of suburban-style chain retailers. "Some of Brooklyn's lost sales stem not from a dearth of retail but from more pleasant and lower-priced stores and supermarkets in the suburbs," writes Engquist.

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Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Crains New York Business
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