THE BRONX - Chain stores are booming in the Bronx, but they're eating up space once occupied by mom-and-pop shops.

In 2015, such stores opened in the borough at triple the rate for the city as a whole.

Longtime residents say the appearance of stores like Five Guys, Chipotle and Starbucks is somewhat surprising.

"The chain stores would basically poo-poo at us and not want to be here," says Marlene Cintron, of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Cintron says the initial push into the borough by large chains, including JC Penney, was successful, prompting others to move in too.

Chains also drive down prices, leaving consumers with more affordable services and products, according to experts.

But they also drive out longstanding mom-and-pop businesses, like Zaro's Bakery, which closed its flagship store last month after 55 years in business.