Read What People Think Of The Changing Retail Landscape Of Downtown Brooklyn

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.

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  • Jorale-man

    I thought the article got it right; you hate to see longtime business owners being displaced. On the other hand, the new shops might help temper the “raffish” quality of the street a bit. As long as it isn’t taken over by bank branches and chain drug stores.

  • Joshua Goodman

    Love the transformation.

  • ltap917

    When I was a kid growing up in the Flatlands area of Brooklyn, taking the bus to downtown Brooklyn was a real treat for me and my sisters. Going to Abraham and Strauss was the ultimate shopping trip for us.
    That area was very nice as I recall. It’s good for the entire community to have new stores like H&M, Gap, etc. come into the area. I went to the Gap store once and it was crowded with young moms. Let’s face it, in BH there is no place for young mothers to buy clothes for their kids and not everyone has the time to hop the subway into Manhattan.

  • Boerum Bill

    Good evening, Ladies and Gentrifiers…

  • jmk79

    amazing the comments about “gentrification” — if any of you @b5efb693ff3f5cff8776b273228cbb11:disqus were actually from new york, you’d know that fulton street USED to be the place everyone went to shop for everything. I, for one, am in favor of revitalizing this.

  • mlcraryville

    Who were those beloved Mom and Pop store keepers? I recall seeing schlock store after schlock store…lots and lots of cheap shoes, cheap jewelry and fake bling, cheap clothes…cheap and possibly faked, to boot. These were stores whose income depended on pulling in the customers and had hirees working the sidewalks. I don’t believe there is any popular allegiance to those street hawkers and rip-off artists and that the article has twisted real progress for shoppers into an abandonment of the good old days, which, as someone once wrote, “were terrible.”

  • Babinsky

    If they could revive Gage & Tollner – now that would be something…

  • Claude Scales

    Yes!!! I have a probably hopeless longing for Crabmeat Dewey.