McDonald's is planning to close hundreds of locations in Walmart stores as pandemic changes shopping styles


April 12, 2021: –McDonald’s is closing hundreds of restaurants inside Walmart as customers increasingly shop online and opt for the drive-thru window.

On Friday, the big-box retailer confirmed that the fast-food chain would have nearly 150 locations that remain all around its 3,570 SuperCenters. That has gradually decreased over the years from a peak of almost 1,000 locations.

Many Walmart shoppers buy their groceries online and have them dropped in their trunks in the parking lot or delivered to their homes, freeing them from the need to step inside stores. Walmart’s e-commerce sales in the U.S. increased by 79% in the recent fiscal year.

Chains such as Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, and Chipotle Mexican Grill have announced their plans to bring even more drive-thru lanes as customers prefer the convenient and contact-free way.

McDonald rushed their plans to close the restaurants while the pandemic. In a call with investors in July, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan said the fast-food chain would accelerate closures expected in the coming years, including over 100 Walmart locations with a low volume of business.

Walmart plans to convert former McDonald locations into other restaurants and services, including some with a more regional feel or unique spin, Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said.

She said it is testing locations with Yum Brand’s Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza. In other stores, she told space has become different types of shops that offer a wide range of products, from tool rentals to hair braiding.

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