Sandwich chain Subway is launching an aggressive expansion effort with plans to open 3,000 new locations worldwide by the end of the year.
The new stores will set a record for Subway, outpacing the number of stores opened in 2013. Subway operates roughly 41,800 stores around the globe and 26,000 in the United States.
Subway plans to expand its store count in both traditional locations, such as malls and shopping centers, as well as non-traditional venues including hospitals, colleges, sports arenas and airports.
"From 300 to 2,000 square feet, Subway restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. Because of the chain's unique business model, which has minimal equipment and space requirements, a Subway restaurant can operate just about anywhere," said Chris Kan, training and business promotion specialist for Subway real estate.
The Milford, Connecticut-based chain is taking advantage of the void left by Quiznos, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. Denver-based Quiznos has struggled to measure up against its dominant rival and newer upstarts such as Potbelly, leading to the closure of thousands of restaurants over the past few years. Only 2,100 locations remain open worldwide. Quiznos' current store count is less than half of the nearly 5,000 restaurants that were open during its peak in 2008.
Subway, meanwhile, seems to be flourishing. The company is opening new stores and investing in mobile technologies. Subway, in March, announced it is testing ways for consumers to pay for their meals using smartphones. The chain is testing the mobile payment app in 2,000 locations in California. So far, about 400,000 customers have downloaded the app, available for both iPhone and Android.
The company also recently announced it will spend $41 million over three years to revamp its food menu under a new partnership with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, which aims to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
-See this Subway press release
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