NYC’s posh shopping corridors empty as flagship retail chains bail amid lockdowns, violence

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With employees working at home, tourists staying away, and residents escaping if they can afford it amid the COVID-19 lockdown and its aftermath, Manhattan’s once-booming economy is tanking, and many well-known retail stores and restaurants may never reopen, prompting wide-ranging joblessness.

The New York Times has conceded that the business climate in the Big Apple is apparently rotten, but a long article by the liberal news outlet about prestigious retail chains abandoning New York City seemingly fails to mention an important factor in addition to the pandemic: the huge spike in crime under far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In other words, when the government goes woke, businesses go broke.

The Times detailed the woes facing the business community residing in very expensive zip codes as it sees it.

“In the heart of Manhattan, national chains including J.C. Penney, Kate Spade, Subway and Le Pain Quotidien have shuttered branches for good. Many other large brands, like Victoria’s Secret and the Gap, have kept their high-profile locations closed in Manhattan, while reopening in other states…

“Even as the city has contained the virus and slowly reopens, there are ominous signs that some national brands are starting to abandon New York. The city is home to many flagship stores, chains and high-profile restaurants that tolerated astronomical rents and other costs because of New York’s global cachet and the reliable onslaught of tourists and commuters.”

The streets are deserted of potential consumers, the Times noted.

“In Manhattan’s major retail corridors, from SoHo to Fifth Avenue to Madison Avenue, once packed sidewalks are now nearly empty. A fraction of the usual army of office workers goes into work every day, and many wealthy residents have left the city for second homes. Many stores are still closed, some permanently, while those that are open have very little foot traffic.

“J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, the anchor tenants at two of the largest malls in Manhattan, recently filed for bankruptcy and announced that they would shutter those locations.”

The Times seems to overlook the massive increase in gun violence in recent weeks as well as looting that occurred in June of this year. Compounding the problem is that the soft-on-crime de Blasio administration is cutting $1 billion from the police budget.

According to Fox News, approximately 800 shootings have occurred throughout the five boroughs of New York City, which already exceeds the entire total for the calendar year 2019. Shootings in July 2020 increased 177 percent from the previous July.

As BizPacReview reported in June, as a result of experiencing severe side effects of the economy-crushing coronavirus lockdown along with civil unrest in New York City, high-fashion brand Valentino headed to court to try to get out of its lease on Manhattan’s prestigious, or perhaps once prestigious, Fifth Avenue. Other retailers are trying to do the same.

Some landlords have already sued to try to recover back rent from commercial tenants.

Separately, one restaurateur told the Times that Manhattan has lost its cache because commerce is just too expensive in New York City as opposed to other states.

“There’s no reason to do business in New York. I can do the same volume in Florida in the same square feet as I would have in New York, with my expenses being much less. The idea was that branding and locations were important, but the expense of being in this city has overtaken the marketing group that says you have to be there.” Another restaurant operator claimed that doing business in NYC is currently “unsustainable.”


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