Subway closing 500 stores in US

An employee passes an order to a customer at the drive-thru of a Subway Restaurants location in Princeton Illinois

A shuttered Subway in Brooklyn, New York.

Subway disputed published reports that said it will shut down 500 stores, saying that figure was a projection, not a confirmed number.

The chain plans to revamp its stores by adding self-service kiosks and more comfortable seating, as well as Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.

Subway's struggles are tied to overexpansion, failure to keep up with trends, and internal battles, including a lack of confidence in the CEO.

The company has not yet released a list of which stores or locations that will be closing.

Not that the company is reducing store count everywhere: It says it will be expanding internationally, opening up more than 1,000 locations in Germany, the UK, India, Mexico, China, and South Korea. Subway now has around 2,600 locations in the US. "We focused in the past on restaurant count". Last year, more than 800 stores went dark, with the total USA count dropping to 25,908. "That is where they made the most money - the franchise fee".

The company said Wednesday it expects stores to close after it rolls out a revitalization plan, announced last summer, that will require franchise owners to invest more in their operations. None are owned by the company.

Subway is attempting to address concerns about global expansion and changes to its loyalty program and efforts to redesign stores.

Some locations could also be consolidated or relocated.



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