This year has been pretty rough on retail chains. Financial challenges have caused Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning and Christmas Tree Shops to declare bankruptcy and shutter all locations, while Sears, CVS and Walgreens have had to close stores as a cost-cutting measure. Well the issues aren't just affecting retailers, fast food restaurants are feeling it too. Pizza Hut and Boston Market have already closed stores and now, Burger King will be doing the same. In fact, BK plans to shutter up to 400 locations by the end of 2023.
The announcement came earlier this year, following large Burger King franchisees going bankrupt in Illinois, Michigan and Utah. Over 124 have closed already and in the past week, another six joined them. Two locations in Jacksonville abruptly shuttered after 40 years, while others in Nebraska and New York did as well. No reason was given for the closures.
However, even though their footprint will have shrunk to fewer than 7,000 stores nationally, Burger King isn't going away. CEO Joshua Kobza said the company "historically" closes "a couple hundred" locations annually, and although they will be cracking down and shutting down underperforming franchisees, they will also focus on working with smaller franchisees to help "improve the overall health" of how franchises work. In addition, the company recently announced a $250 million investment plan to modernize 3,000 restaurants across the country.
As for the stores that will be closing this year, there's no word on which ones might be affected, but things aren't going poorly for Burger King overall - sales have risen nearly 10%.