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MILFORD, Conn. -- Subway, the largest fast-food chain by store count with 39,500 franchised sites worldwide, including 9,000 in non-traditional locations such as convenience stores and airports, anticipates adding more than 10,000 new locations by 2017.
Subway has added 11,000 new sites since 2007 and its executives are far from satisfied, according to a Bloomberg report. "In our highest-density markets, we're at one for every 8,000 people. So if you do that math, we can have a lot more stores," Don Fertman, the chain's chief development officer, told the news outlet.
Fertman, according to the report, even went so far as to say that having 100,000 units by 2030 was hypothetically possible, but "probably" not realistic. However, the executive admitted that the company keeps a chart that illustrates Subway's possibility of getting to 100,000 stores by 2030.
"We have a real goal of getting to 50,000 stores by 2017," Fertman told Bloomberg.
Most of the growth will be overseas, even though about half of Subway's approximately 200,000 franchise inquires each year come from North America. Particular global focus points are Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya, he said. Potential U.S. target markets include Philadelphia, New York City's outer boroughs and Boston.
Through the first quarter alone, Subway opened more than 600 new locations this year around the world. In the United States, the company added 232 new Subway franchises, boosting its total count to 26,000 in the country. In Canada, Subway added 34 new locations to cross the 2,900 mark in that country.
The sandwich shop chain also opened more than 160 stores in non-traditional locations including convenience stores, airports, department stores and hospitals.