There was a time that many retail spaces dotted the streets of New York. I remember there was Alexander and Woolworth and in some areas Bradlees but all of them are gone now replaced by cell phone companies or computer stores. Much of these stores were the victim of recession, bad business decisions or just plain short sightedness to see what is store in the future. But it has been happening all over the place. One time Broadway on Times Square was a place where decent people tried to avoid because of all the illegal activities going on. But now it is the place to be dotted by stage shows, movie houses, restaurants and other stores friendly to families.
Same has happened with mom and pop stores replaced by big box retailers who occupy the space of two or three mom and pop stores and can have sometimes but not always lower prices but provide one stop convenient shopping. There was no star bucks back in the 80s and now you see one everywhere which provides stable income to their landlords since we the Americans are addicted to Coffee even if it is expensive. Cutthroat competition has given way to new stores who are cost efficient in their operations. Even the book stores which were considered essential are migrating to the internet and closing their expensive stores where they can only survive with discounting and not the full price, since very few people now days pay full price for the books. And so in the coming years, we will see more upheaval in the retail world.