USA: McDonald's expanding with Wal-Mart
Despite worldwide closures and job cuts in its main restaurant chain, US fastfood chain McDonald's is still expanding with the opening of new outlets inside Wal-Mart stores.
Neither McDonald’s nor US retail giant Wal-Mart have publicised the new expansion, which renews an alliance that slowed four years ago due to disappointing results. Currently, McDonald’s has an outlet in around 700, or one quarter, of Wal-Mart’s US stores. McDonald’s could open up to 200 units in US Wal-Mart outlets next year, and the fastfood chain could be planning to operate a unit in nearly every new Wal-Mart store, reported Dow Jones News.
Many of McDonald’s franchisees remain cautious about McDonald’s’ Wal-Mart operations, particularly with the disappointing sales that the fastfood giant has been experiencing of late. But franchisees also suggest putting the unit at the front of the store, rather than the back as had preciously been the case in many Wal-Marts.
Several of Wal-Mart’s competitors in the US have taken on the idea of franchised fastfood units in their stores. Target has Taco Bell Express and Pizza Hut Express food available in around half of its 94 Super targets, while Royal Ahold has an agreement to open full-service Boston Market restaurants in some of its larger Stop & Shop supermarkets.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman told Dow Jones News that the menus available in the Wal-Mart units vary depending on the amount of space available and customer traffic. All the units serve Happy Meals, hamburgers, fries and chicken products, she said. Meal prices are normally similar to those at McDonald’s stand-alone outlets.
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