According to a Bloomberg report, Subway wants to shut down 500 more locations in the United States amid intense competition from its rivals. The company has nearly 26,000 stores in the U.S., while McDonald’s has 14,000 restaurants.
However, despite its larger presence, Starbucks is facing rabid competition from McDonald’s, Starbucks, and other chains that operate in the sandwich industry. The company said that it will slash the number of restaurants and focus more on improving those that are left open.
Also, it is worth noting that Subway faces competition from indirect rivals like Walgreens, Target, and other brick-and-mortar retailers that have been selling take-out sandwiches.
Bloomberg learned from the company’s chief executive Suzanne Greco that Subway will focus on having the best location. “Store count isn’t everything,” Greco reportedly said. The move will not affect the number of stores overseas.
Competition Is Getting Tighter
The 53-year-old business’ sales slipped 4.4% in 2017. By contrast, McDonald’s sales increased 3.4% over the same time period. The sandwich maker has tried to boost sales via various programs, including giving loyal customers $4 for every $100 spent.
Subway also plans an expansion outside North America, according to the Bloomberg report. Meanwhile, it has rolled out a smartphone app and equipped its stores with touchscreen kiosks.
However, that seems to not be enough. McDonald’s own smartphone app currently has 20 million users in the U.S., while another rival, Panera Breads, implemented mobile payments long before Subway did.
The company first started to slash the number of its U.S. stores in 2016. Back then, it closed down 350 locations. In 2017, it shut down 800 more locations. Currently, the number of Subway locations in the U.S. stands at 25.908.
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