McDonald’s has responded to slowing sales in China by scaling back its expansion plans in the country, the Financial Times reported. The fast-food company, which has just opened its 1,000 store in China, now expects to open 150 new outlets across the country this year, down from an earlier projection of 175. McDonald’s CEO Jeff Skinner said the scaling back would likely focus on south China due to factory closures in the region. COO Ralph Alvarez added that changed projection was largely due to slower development “in areas where we were counting on more infrastructure growth, homes, roads.” China accounts for about 2% of the company’s operating income. While sales in other markets have been robust as consumers look for low-cost dining options, in China McDonald’s faces a huge amount of cheaper local competition.
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