The New York Times writes about the changing retail landscape of Downtown Brooklyn. As outlets like Shake Shack and H&M set up shop on Fulton Street, the older businesses which long catered to African-American and Caribbean-American customers are starting to disappear. The Times describes the history of the strip saying, “Fulton Street has been Brooklyn’s marketplace since the early 19th century. At its peak it had half a dozen department stores, but in the 1970s and 1980s, it became somewhat raffish, the scene of news-making robberies and shootings.”
NYT: The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which manages the neighborhood’s three business improvement districts, said that the demographics of the block had essentially not shifted and that the new stores are just as popular with the street’s traditional customers.
“Retailers are going where the shoppers are,” Tucker Reed, the partnership’s president, said. “They’re not making decisions based on the color of the shoppers’ skin, but by where there’s demand for a product.”
Marty Markowitz, the departing borough president, said the new chains were returning the street to its peak mid-20th century years, when it had half a dozen department stores like Abraham & Straus and Mays that catered to both Brooklyn’s more affluent residents and those looking to stretch a dollar.
SPILLED MILK DEPARTMENT: The change in stores in Fulton Mall was part and parcel of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan… http://t.co/E62sx8K6Ux
— HDC (@HDC_NYC) September 21, 2013
@Urbablurb Stores like H&M are pretty cheap and are very popular with Fulton Mall's traditional black customer base.
— Market Urbanism (@MarketUrbanism) September 21, 2013