The Big Apple is home to a variety of chain stores; there’s no shortage of a selection. Dunkin’ Donuts continues to lead the pack with 568 stores in the greater New York City area. That’s a 4% growth over last year with a net increase of 32 stores in the city. Even though some chain stores are competing with the abundance of Dunkin’ Donuts, the race is seemingly already won.

The one-stop donut shop has been holding the New York City title for the most stores of a chain brand for 8 years running. Yet, their growth is no accident. Dunkin’ Donuts embodies a few aspects that has paved their path towards fast growth in metropolitan areas.

D.D. stores occupy very little retail space and they’re strategically placed in high foot traffic areas throughout the city. They’ve also seen a positive ROI in their (relatively) “newer” endeavors. Even with such fierce competition, Dunkin’ Donuts has been successful with their coffee products and meal options.

After all, they also approach strategy from a high level. Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t conquer New York City solely through Manhattan, they’ve explored all boroughs. In fact Starbucks has more stores in Manhattan than any other chain, with 220 locations. Overall, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has more stores collectively – 171 stores in Queens, 149 in Manhattan, 135 in Brooklyn, 80 in the Bronx, and 33 on Staten Island.

Though the Center for an Urban Future says their analysis shows that the 300 retailers that were listed on last year’s ranking expanded their New York City footprint from a total of 7,473 stores to 7,550 stores over the past year. Now more than 16 retailers have more than 100 stores across the city.

Jonathan Bowles – Executive Director of the Center – offered some insight, “For the last few years, we’ve seen minimal growth in fast-food burger joints, but newer food chains have really exploded, including Chipotle, Chop’t, Just Salad and Checkers.”

Since 2014, the amount of national chains in Queens jumped 6.4%; the Bronx had a 4.2% increase, while Brooklyn’s franchise presence grew by 3.4%. Surprisingly, Manhattan saw the least growth with only had a 0.4% increase.

More franchises in the shopping retail space are populating in the Big Apple. It’s clear that New York City boroughs are a hot commodity for these growing chain stores – but have they become too much? The balance between popular franchises and locally operated businesses is always shifting.  As the landscape of NYC retailers change, so do plans for the next Penn Station.