Subway expects to close hundreds of locations in North America, - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Subway expects to close hundreds of locations in North America, expand overseas

Subway said it is unsure about how many restaurants in the U.S. will be closed. (Source: Subway) Subway said it is unsure about how many restaurants in the U.S. will be closed. (Source: Subway)

(RNN) - Subway said it is expecting to close, consolidate or relocate hundreds of locations in North America in a revitalization effort.

Media reports this week said the world's largest restaurant chain would close about 500 stores, but a Subway spokesperson said that was a projected, unconfirmed number.

At the same time, Subway said it is also planning to open more than 1,000 restaurants outside of North America 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," a Subway spokesperson said.

Subway has not yet discerned which of its 26,000 U.S. locations will be closed nor how many employees will be affected by the moves.

Since all Subway restaurants are independently owned and operated, store owners would make decisions on locations, the company said.

"Subway restaurants are 100% Franchisee owned and operated, and our commitment to the Franchisees is to work with them to make each restaurant more successful. Subway is the world’s largest restaurant chain and we are confident we will remain the industry leader," a company spokesman said.

Last year, the sandwich chain closed more than 800 U.S. locations, the Washington Post reported.

Subway, based in Milford, CT, has more than 44,000 locations in 113 countries, surpassing McDonalds, which has 36,525 locations.

The company launched a "Make It What You Want" rebranding campaign and a loyalty program earlier this year.

Experts said that the sandwich chain is experiencing competitive pressures from Panera and Firehouse Subs, according to the Washington Post.

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