With some claiming that Walmart’s size should preclude it from setting up shop in New York, the facts show that the store’s main competitors are not only comparable in size but that they are growing their presence in the city.
According to a recent report from Center for an Urban Future, Sears has 11 stores, up from 9 last year; Target now has 9 stores, up from 7 last year; K-Mart has 6 stores; and Costco has 5 stores, up from 3 last year. These big box retailers all rank within the Fortune 50 largest companies in America and have seen explosive growth – Costco’s revenues, for example, have gone to $71 billion from $47 billion.
In terms of physical size, Costco locations run 73,000 to 205,000 square feet (average 142,000 square feet) while Targets run approximately 126,000 square feet in size — “SuperTarget stores” that offer a full grocery line run an average size of 174,000 square feet per store. Walmart’s stores run from 42,000 square feet at their neighborhood market stores to 108,000 square feet at discount stores to as much as 185,000 square feet at Supercenters.
Overall, the number of retail chain stores in New York City has increased over the last year, according to a December 2010 ranking from the Center for an Urban Future with every borough registering a net increase in national chain stores during the past year. Brooklyn had the largest percentage gain of any borough over the past year. This year, there are 13 retailers with at least 100 stores in the five boroughs, including Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Starbucks, Duane Reade and McDonalds – up from 12 in both 2009 and 2008.
This retail growth has helped spur retail job growth. According to Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist at Eastern Consolidated, government data shows that 3,600 out of the 5,500 private sector jobs added between July and August were in shops and stores. 21%, of the private sector jobs added in the city from January through November 2010 were at food and drink establishments and retail stores.