McDonald’s closing more U.S. restaurants this year than it will open

For the first time in more than 40 years, McDonald’s is reducing its number of U.S. restaurants. The struggling burger giant plans to close more restaurants this year than it will open, according to the Associated Press, a move that hasn’t happened “since at least 1970.”

In regards to the slimdown, Becca Hary, spokesperson for the burger giant, told the AP that the closures would be “minimal” in comparison to the chain’s 14,300 U.S. locations.

McDonald’s announced in April that the chain would close about 700 restaurants globally this year, including units in the U.S. CEO Steve Easterbrook later shared that McDonald’s much-discussed turnaround plan would also include pruning the restaurant’s overblown menu and streamlining corporate processes.

Despite laying out plans for positive change, the burger chain continues to face a number of setbacks, including slumping sales, wage protests and franchisee discontentment.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s reported a 2.2 percent decline in comp sales and reduced traffic at its domestic stores in May, a loss of market share characterized as “significant” by Joe Buckley, restaurant analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

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