McDonald’s closing stores as it plots market fightback

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09:  Cars move past a McDonald's in lower Manhattan on February 9, 2015 in New York City. McDonald's Corporation has said sales in January fell a worse-than-expected 1.8%. While the fast-food restaurant chain said U.S. and Europe sales showed signs of improvement, Asia sales slowed. McDonald's is facing new completion from trendier and more health conscious fast food chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Shake Shack.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

US fast food chain McDonald’s is planning to shut down more stores in its home market than it plans to open this year — the first time in four decades that has happened.

The last time the chain reduced its store footprint was in the early seventies, but Associated Press reports claim new CEO Steve Easterbrook will sacrifice that record as he looks to turn around the company’s fortunes.

McDonald’s hasn’t said how many of its 14,300 stores in the US will be affected by the move, but a spokesperson said it would be a “minimal” number.

Given it operates twice as many restaurants as its nearest rival Burger King, the cuts are unlikely to alter its position as the market leader by store count.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s revealed plans to close 700 stores globally, with Japan, Chain and the US suffering the brunt of that decision.

Under Easterbrook’s leadership, McDonald’s is going through a restructuring programme aimed at making the organisation more agile and better placed to respond to the changing market place. Recent years have seen it lose customers to emerging fast-casual burger restaurants such as Chipotle and Five Guys.

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