Dunkin’ to close 800 US stores as pandemic hurts sales

CANTON, massachusetts (AP) — Dunkin’ Brands Inc expects to close up to 800 under performing United States (US) stores this year as it tries to shore up its portfolio in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had previously announced the closure of 450 stores within Speedway gas stations.

But the company said on Thursday it’s targetting an additional 350 stores, most of which are unprofitable.

Closing the restaurants would allow their franchisees to reinvest in newer stores in higher-traffic areas, Dunkin’ Chief Financial Officer Katherine Jaspon said during a conference call with investors.

Jaspon said the 800 stores represent eight per cent of Dunkin’s US footprint but just two per cent of its sales. International franchisees are also assessing their stores and could close 350 low-volume stores abroad by the end of this year, Jaspon added.

Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ said on Thursday its sales dropped 20 per cent in the second quarter to USD287 million.

Sales at US stores open at least a year dropped 19 per cent from the April-June period a year ago.

Dunkin’ isn’t the only chain targetting low-performing restaurants. McDonald’s said earlier this week that it will close 200 US restaurants this year, about half of which are locations inside Walmart stores.