Chain Stores


Chain Drugstores Are Closing, But Not Because of Shoplifting

Massive chain drug stores have become integral members of the urban fabric, for better or worse, but widespread store closures and security practices have come to symbolize urban decline. The dynamic must be monitored.

November 10, 2022 - Slate

New York City Homelessness

Chain Retail Slow to Recover From Pandemic in New York City

2020 was a rough year for retail chains in New York City, making even a slow year, like 2021, look like a recovery.

December 24, 2021 - Commercial Observer

Strip Mall

How Typical Economic Development Kills Community Character

An economic development pro makes an argument for an approach to economic development that prioritizes the urban design decisions that favor community character.

September 23, 2020 - Proud Places


The Disconnect Between Virus Prevalence and Local Business Climate

Public health experts assert that to safely reopen the economy, the coronavirus needs to be contained. In Manhattan, where the virus is largely controlled, chain restaurants are closing while their sister stores in Florida are expanding.

August 18, 2020 - The New York Times

Downtown North Little Rock

Resurrecting the Classic American Main Street

In an interview, urbanism scholar Emily Talen discusses what it would take to restore "main street principles" to American towns and cities. Understandably, small retailers play a big role.

March 30, 2018 - Sidewalk Talk


Starbucks Targeting Stores In Minority Neighborhoods

Starbucks is launching a long-term effort to create local jobs, provide training opportunities for youth, and invest in local minority-owned businesses.

March 19, 2018 - Modern Cities

New York City Retail

Tracking the Increasing Number of Chain Stores in New York City

While the number of national retailers is still growing in New York City, growth is slowing and it concentrated in the restaurant and food sector of the market.

December 29, 2017 - Center For An Urban Future


Aspen Pushes to Ban New Chain Stores

The citizen-driven campaign has garnered support from City Council.

February 17, 2017 - The Denver Post

Upper Manhattan's Disappearing Bodegas

Rising rents and competition with chains are taking their toll on Manhattan bodegas, a mainstay for hispanic neighborhoods for their fresh and ethnic foods. As their numbers decline, chain stores increase, and Walk Scores drop.

August 5, 2015 - The New York Times N.Y. / Region

San Francisco Fights to Keep Chains Out as It Invites the Wealthy In

The battle over whether to allow a proposed Jack Spade store to open in San Francisco's Mission District points to the incongruities of a city desperate to maintain its retail diversity while it loses its residential diversity.

September 23, 2013 - The New Yorker

Chain Creep: Coming to a Small Town, or Big City, Near You

Dollar stores were already a presence in rural communities, but recession has caused dollar chains to ramp up development to keep pace with the public's growing need to stretch their paychecks. Urban communities aren't immune from chain creep either.

January 31, 2013 - Rooflines

Is San Francisco Doing Enough to Keep Out Chain Stores?

A city law enacted in 2006 was intended to protect San Francisco's independent stores from the spread of chain - or 'formula' - stores. Stacy Mitchell explains the gaps in the current law and the efforts of one city Supervisor to tighten it.

September 15, 2012 - Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Vermont Towns Battle to Maintain a Sense of Place

Chain store opponents in Vermont battle to preserve the uniqueness of their small towns by pushing against a planned Dollar General Store. While a review board narrowly approved a plan, it also attached a lengthy list of restrictions.

May 14, 2012 - The New York Times

Zoning to Protect Mom & Pops on the Upper West Side

Joseph Berger reports on New York City's efforts to protect local retailers with new zoning in Manhattan's Upper West Side, where the proliferation of chain stores, banks, and pharmacies have caused consternation.

February 3, 2012 - The New York Times

Americans Crave the Familiar in Architecture and Design

Kaid Benfield argues that if people are going to embrace mixed-use, denser living styles, architects and designers need to "embrace the familiar."

September 26, 2011 - NRDC Blog

Are Local Businesses Making a Comeback?

Styled after Harper's Index, this "Localism Index" suggests that local economies and independent businesses might just be making a comeback.

April 19, 2011 - The Nation

Portland Questions More Food Chains in Maine

Two Virginia-based burger chains are interested in opening locations in Downtown Portland, but are facing opposition from city residents and officials.

February 1, 2011 - The Portland Press Herald

"Buy Local" Campaigns Making a Difference

A national survey of independent businesses found that those in communities with an active "buy local" campaign experienced significantly stronger revenue growth in 2010 compared to those located in areas without one.

February 1, 2011 - New Rules Project

The Best "Chains on Main"

The Commercial District Advisor and LISC have selected five businesses as "The Best Chains on Main", recognizing their commitment to economic revitalization and dedication to improving their communities.

January 13, 2011 - The Commercial District Advisor

Invasion of the Chain Stores

As chain stores move into a Brooklyn neighborhood, some locals worry about the loss of local character and small businesses.

November 13, 2010 - The New York Times

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