Skip to content

Subway Closings Accelerate as Cold-Cuts Fail to Draw In Diners

  • Chain hasn’t been able to end extended sales slump, data show
  • Company, in overhaul bid, will help franchisee remodel costs
A Subway Restaurants location in the Brooklyn, New York.

A Subway Restaurants location in the Brooklyn, New York.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Subway Restaurants, the world’s most ubiquitous dining chain, closed locations at a faster pace last year as sales slumped again in its home market.

While closely held Subway has been retrenching in the U.S. for years now as Americans forgo the Italian foot-longs that once felt like a healthier alternative to traditional fast-food, the shutdown rate quickened in 2018. The entirely franchised chain lost more than 1,100 total shops in the U.S., compared with about 800 in 2017. That marks the third straight year of a shrinking domestic store count, according to data that restaurant researcher Technomic said it obtained from the company.