Subway’s closing of 359 stores marks historic pullback for nation’s most ubiquitous eatery

Apr 20, 2017
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Subway announced it has CLOSED 359 stores last year, marking the first time in the companies history according to this Dallas News report.

Subway Restaurants closed hundreds of domestic locations last year, marking the biggest retrenchment in the history of a chain that spent decades saturating America with restaurants.

The company lost 359 U.S. locations in 2016, the first time Subway had a net reduction. The store count dropped 1.3 percent to 26,744 from 27,103 in 2015, but Subway remains the nation’s most ubiquitous eatery. (McDonald’s Corp. is No. 1 by sales.)

The closely held company is coping with a sales slowdown in the U.S., made worse by the emergence of newer fast-casual rivals and the industry’s heavy reliance on discounts and promotions. Subway also has lost some of its luster as a healthier-food option. It’s been working to restore its status by eliminating antibiotics from its chicken and switching to cage-free eggs.

In another bid to revive growth, Subway is adding delivery services — a strategy that’s also been embraced by McDonald’s. And it even unveiled a new, more contemporary logo. But so far, the changes haven’t helped much: Sales fell 1.7 percent last year to about $11.3 billion.

Industrywide, same-store sales continued to slide in the U.S. during March. They dropped 0.6 percent in the fourth straight month of decreases, according to MillerPulse data.

The sandwich chain also has been overhauling its management team. On Wednesday, the company said it’s bringing on former McDonald’s executive Karlin Linhardt to lead marketing for the more than 30,000 Subway stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Last year, Subway hired Katie Coleman to handle global public relations. She was tasked in part with helping the chain recover from a scandal involving former spokesman Jared Fogle. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and was sentenced to prison in 2015.



Born and raised in the backwoods of Michigan, Thomas Dishaw is an independent writer and entrepreneur. His work has been criticized in Slate, Right Wing Watch, Gawker, Daily Mail, and NY Daily News. Thomas currently writes for and resides in Delaware with his wife and Shih Tzu, where they enjoy healthy eating, politics, MSU Spartans and conservative values.
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  • Pop_Korn

    They are pricing themselves out of business. Subs are over $6 plus change and tax. The local Subways really skimp on ingredients.
    For that price i prefer Hoss’s salad bar or the all you can eat chinese buffet.

  • sav

    No matter what I order from Subway it always tastes the same. Everything tastes of nothing.

  • UnderTheBedMonster

    The only times I ever ate at Subway I got a roaring stomach ache. Never went back after 2 times to see how sick I’d get from third trip. Overpriced if you ask me. I can make better food at home. I hope they have enough brains to pick a mascot who does not diddle little kids. That hurt them more than bland tasting ill producing foods.

  • Why doesn’t Subway ask for taxpayer handouts like, GE, GM, Harley Davidson, Caterpillar, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Dexia, Verizon, United Airlines, American Airlines, Bank of America, Ford, Delphi Automotive, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft and every other scumbag leech company with their fingers inside Congress?

  • Brisa25

    I like the Subway product….from store to store, it is consistently good. Beats grease burger alternatives most times for me. My guess as to the closings is oversaturation of franchises.

    • L. A. McDonough

      Subway is on it’s way out once people found out their meats are 50% soy. Why pay for altered meats? Other places like Panera bread, Atlanta bread have real food. Maybe they will clean up their act.

  • Ray

    Jimmy John’s is real darn good. The one down the street from me has a great, friendly staff. Good people. They are on the expensive side though, but the product is wonderful.

  • Johnny Jones

    Subway. Eat flesh.

    • Apparition

      Flesh is good !

  • gordon_wagner

    How do they source bread which has no flavor or texture? Who would eat there a second time?

  • Cindy K Moser

    I like Di Bella’s better. Have not been to a Subway in over 5 years now or so.