Dunkin' Announces It's Permanently Closing 800 US Locations

Dunkin' Announces It's Permanently Closing 800 US Locations
Dunkin' chain restaurant in Middletown, Del., on July 26, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Dunkin', the chain formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts, said it will likely permanently close 800 U.S. locations. That includes the 450 store closures that were announced earlier this month.

In a news release on Thursday, the firm said the 800 locations represent about 8 percent of all Dunkin' locations in the United States, as well as 2 percent of the company's sales.

The 450 locations that the firm targeted for closing were located inside Speedway gas stations.

The Massachusetts-based company said that the closures are being done "on a gross basis as part of a real estate portfolio rationalization, being performed in conjunction with its franchisees, with the goal of setting the U.S. system up for continued strong, profitable future growth."

The Dunkin’ Brand Group includes the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain. But the latest earnings does not include the closure of any Baskin-Robbins locations.

"Approximately 96% of Dunkin' U.S. locations were open as of July 25. The majority of the locations that remain closed are in transportation hubs, on college campuses, in sports venues, and other alternative points of distribution," according to the news release.

Dunkin' noted there is still "market uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic" caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

It also noted there are risks and uncertainties in the future from the "impact of the current COVID-19 global pandemic on our business" as well as "changes in commodity and food prices, particularly coffee, dairy products and sugar, and other operating costs; shortages of coffee; failure of our network and information technology systems; interruptions or shortages in the supply of products to our franchisees and licensees; the impact of food borne-illness or food safety issues or adverse public or media opinions regarding the health effects of consuming our products," and other issues.

The firm said it may also permanently shut down 350 locations outside the United States.

But the company, which has largely stayed open during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, recently announced that it would hire up to 25,000 new employees.

Dunkin’ relabeled itself in 2018 to focus more on coffee and tea, as beverages make up about 60 percent of the company's sales.

On Wednesday, McDonald's announced it would permanently shut down 200 locations in the United States in 2020, and about half of them are in low-volume areas and in Walmart stores.

“The U.S. is accelerating some restaurant closures previously planned for future years,” CFO Kevin Ozan said in an earnings call. “Of the 200 U.S. closures for this year, over half are low-volume restaurants in Walmart store locations.”
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