Subway’s closure streak continues as the quick-service chain pivots to international growth.
This week, Bloomberg said Subway plans to close 500 domestic units. However, a Subway spokesperson told Nation’s Restaurant News on Thursday that 500 closures are only a “projection,” as the shuttering of units is up to the company’s independent operators.
Still, Subway said retrenching is imminent.
“In North America, we are implementing an aggressive revitalization plan, which we expect to result in the closing, consolidation or relocation of a few hundred locations in 2018,” Subway said in a statement to NRN.
The chain has been diminishing its footprint in the U.S. for a few years.
The Milford, Conn.-based company has closed nearly 1,200 locations over the past three years, amounting to a total decrease in its U.S. unit base over those three years of 4.4 percent, according to the most recent data compiled by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Facing fierce competition from higher quality sandwich chains in every state, Subway plans to focus on international growth with a push to open more than 1,000 new global units this year.
“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,” the company said.
At the end of Subway’s 2017 fiscal year, the chain had 25,908 franchised units. In 2014, Subway had 27,103 U.S. units.
Alan J. Liddle contributed to this report.
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