New York City Chains Spreading More Slowly (SLIDESHOW)

According to a new survey conducted by the Center for an Urban Future, chain stores are spreading more slowly throughout the city with 31 percent of national retailers reducing their presence in the last year.

Overall the number of chains has seen an increase with a total of 6,994 stores recorded this year, up from the 6,883 stores in 2010. However, last year only 20 percent were forced to reduce their presence across the five boroughs.

The slowdown in national chains is a first for the annual rankings, now in its fourth year. The Center says the struggling economy and decline in consumer spending are the primary factors behind the numbers, factors that have also been plaguing small business owners who are fighting to survive in today's market.

Tuesday's numbers might be hard for some to believe as small stores and neighborhood favorites are forced to shutter their doors to make way for new chains. To name a few, the recent opening of an IHOP in the East Village coupled with the pancake house's announcement they'd be opening a restaurant in the Limelight Marketplace in Chelsea raised a few eyebrows.

H&H Bagels made by famous by Seinfeld were forced to close back in June, along with a string of independent bookstores including Gotham and Oscar Wilde bookstores.

Earlier this year, the Bean coffee shop was evicted from their nine year, East Village property to make room for yet another Starbucks in the East Village. Rather than quietly submitting to the coffee giant, which operates 263 stores in the city, Bean owners temporarily set up shop right across the street and served coffee from a truck. The fate of the Bean ended more fortunately than the other vanishing business, as they were eventually able to permanently relocate to Broadway and 12th Street.

Check out the slideshow below to see the top ten national chains in New York City: