Subway closing 500 stores in US

Anna Jefferson
April 27, 2018

It will meanwhile open about 1,000 locations worldwide.

With some 27,000 locations in the United States, by far, Subway has the most locations of any restaurant chain.

There could be a few hundred less Subway locations in North America - and Western New York - by the end of the year. This year, the sandwich purveyor is planning to shut about 500 more of its US shops.

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Subway, whose restaurants are all franchisee-owned and -operated, declined to provide a list of locations on the chopping block.

Last year, Subway closed more than 800 stores nationwide, dropping its total number of USA locations to just below 26,000.

With an estimated 44,000 locations in 112 countries, Subway is the largest restaurant chain in the world, according to the company website.

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"Looking out over the next decade, we anticipate having a slightly smaller, but more profitable footprint in North America and a significantly larger footprint in the rest of the world", a spokesman told CNBC in an email.

The chain, whose slogan is "Eat Fresh", has been hurt in recent years by strong competition from fast-food giants like McDonalds, fast-casual favorites Panera and Chipotle, and even the increasingly growing number of gas stations and convenience stores that serve quick, made-to-order food. Greco said Subway had been hurt by fierce competition in the USA, including from a resurgent McDonald's, whose domestic system sales rose 3.4 percent a year ago, according to data from researcher Technomic. The company is also launching a new loyalty program offering free items and discounts to regular customers.

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