Subway to close 500 United States stores amid global growth

Subway restaurant chain is closing as many 500 locations this year as it expands its market overseas

Meanwhile, the company will open about 1,000 locations worldwide, including in Mexico, the United Kingdom, China and India.

Bloomberg reports the world's largest restaurant chain expects to close about 500 stores, while opening more than 1,000 locations overseas. This year, the sandwich purveyor is planning to shut about 500 more of its US shops.

That still leaves quite a few Subway restaurants, which now number more than 25,000 across the USA - which outnumbers mega chain McDonald's. The rewards system, which offers $2 discounts and free items, is available for the chain's domestic and Canadian locations.

Last year, Subway closed more than 800 stores nationwide, dropping its total number of USA locations to just below 26,000.

More news: US Waffle House shooting suspect arrested after manhunt

Bloomberg first reported on the company's plans.

With more than 40,000 locations globally, Subway ranks the largest restaurant chain in the world, outpacing McDonald's MCD and Starbucks SBUX.

Due to competition from other fast food options and newer chains, Subway's sales have continued to drop. Greco said Subway had been hurt by fierce competition in the US, including from a resurgent McDonald's, whose domestic system sales rose 3.4 percent past year, according to data from researcher Technomic. It's launching a new loyalty program, remodeling stores to look sleeker and adding touch-screen kiosks for ordering.

Subway didn't take that advice, and instead promised to redesign stores, and then in February debuted a new ad campaign called "Make It What You Want".

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