What are the average economics / sales for a bodega or small corner store in New York City?
Hi there, thanks for the request! Here's what I found.
I found a variety of useful sources that touched on different aspects of the economics of NYC bodegas, including revenue, labor costs, and rent prices.
-A New York Times article from 2014 cited Ramon Murphy, president of the Bodega Association of the United States, as saying that New York City's 12,000+ bodegas generate between $15,000 and $30,000 per week in sales. This would put average yearly revenue for a NYC bodega between $780,000 and $1,560,000.
-The average bodega employs between four and seven workers. One academic paper estimates the average bodega worker pay as falling between $250-$300 per week, sometimes for as many as 75 hours of work. This puts labor costs between $1,000 and $2,100 weekly, depending on the exact number of employees and the actual weekly rate the employees are paid.
- Rent is the biggest expense that bodegas face. One definition of bodega used in an academic paper examining healthy foods in bodegas defined them size-wise as stores of less than 4,000 square feet (though this seems much larger than most corner stores and bodegas). The 2015 Brooklyn Retail Report stated that most retail corridors had rent prices between $35-$49 per square foot or $50-$64 per square foot. Even assuming that bodegas were mostly located on the lowest cost corridors in the city, bodegas paying $35 per square foot for a 4,000 square foot store would be paying $140,000 in rent every year. One source cites a bodega owner who claims that his rent has increased to $6,000 a month, or $72,000 yearly.
An article from Business Insider suggests that even those bodegas that do $30,000 per week in sales are struggling to actually turn a profit. The owners of one of the bodegas featured in the article, Eden Farm, say that for the bodega to make a profit, they must do $5,000 in sales every 24 hour period (which is $35,000 a week, well outside the range given by Murphy in the New York Times article). Bodegas are feeling the squeeze between the increasing prevalence of national chains in New York City (like CVS and 7-11, which sell many of the same convenience goods that bodegas typically offered New York residents) and increasing rent prices. Several sources cited the fact that most bodegas' rent prices had climbed from 50-130% between 2005 and 2010. Rent prices and the most recent economic recession led to the closure of 137 bodegas on a 33 block stretch of broadway in upper Manhattan, demonstrating just how razor thin most bodegas' margins are and the precarious financial situation many face.
I hope this information was helpful! Thanks again for using Wonder.