McDonald’s Plans to Shrink by 59 Locations This Year in U.S.

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McDonald’s Corp. plans to shrink by 59 locations this year in the U.S. as the company cuts costs and tries to revive sales.

The chain is closing 184 restaurants and opening 125 new ones in 2015, according to a franchise operations document filed with the Minnesota Department of Commerce last month. The company said in June that it was closing more U.S. restaurants than it was opening this year but didn’t give an exact figure.

The world’s biggest restaurant chain, which had about 14,350 domestic locations at the end of last year, is shuttering stores across the country as it struggles to reverse its worst sales slump in more than decade. In the U.S., where it gets about 32 percent of revenue, same-store sales have dropped for seven straight quarters.

“In the U.S., we will have a net reduction in restaurants, but the impact is minimal in comparison to the 14,000 restaurants we operate across the country,” said Becca Hary, a company spokeswoman. “We consistently review our restaurant portfolio and make strategic decisions to better position our business for the future.”

Americans are increasingly flocking to fast-casual restaurants, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., that allow customers to build their own meals. McDonald’s is testing its own version of customizable sandwiches with TasteCrafted, where diners can choose from different bun and topping combinations.

Closing units may help McDonald’s reduce expenses, which Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook has focused on recently. Earlier this month, McDonald’s said it’s eliminating jobs at its U.S. headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

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