McDonald’s Closures in Walmart Stores – Location Analysis

McDonald’s is closing hundreds of restaurants within Walmart stores as more customers are shopping online and opting for drive-thru. For years, Walmart Inc. and large restaurants like McDonald’s enjoyed a mutual relationship for 30 years. The retailers delivered diners, and the eateries provided rental profits, making it a reason for shoppers to stick around stores.

This relation has strained as consumers are shopping online and fast-food restaurants rely more on drive-thru for sales, a feature that McDonald’s inside Walmart stores do not have. McDonald’s has been closing down stores over the years in the largest US retailer’s stores. At its peak, there were around 1,000 locations.

We looked into the McDonald’s stores that closed during April 2021. There were a total of 246 McDonald’s closures of which 227 stores (92%) were located within Walmart stores.

Insights in Brief

  • There were 246 McDonald’s closures during April 2021.
  • McDonald’s closures occurred in a total of 27 states.
  • The state with the highest number of closures is Texas.

You can download the list of closures from our data store

Number of McDonald’s Present in Walmart Stores

According to Walmart’s store locator, there are a total of 571 McDonald’s restaurants situated in Walmart supermarkets

The map below shows all Walmart stores in the US. The red grid point denotes a Walmart store that has a McDonald’s restaurant present. 

mcdonalds-closures-walmart-map

Most Walmart stores featuring a McDonald’s restaurant are concentrated in highly populated cities and urban areas. 

By April 2021, due to a lack of store sales, many McDonald’s closed. The map below shows all Walmarts stores that have a McDonald’s present. The red grid points denote the McDonald’s which closed. Many closures occurred in the southern regions such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona. More than 90% of the McDonald’s that closed in April were located in Walmart supermarkets.

mcdonalds-closures-at-walmart-locations

Comparing McDonald’s with other retail affiliates within Walmart

McDonald’s is not the only retail chain that has stores within Walmart. Many other restaurant chains are affiliated with the retail giant and have stores and kiosks present. Here are the top 5 retailers that currently have the most number of stores within Walmart supermarkets.

retailers-at-walmart-locations

Subway has the most number of restaurants with around 8% of total Subway stores located in Walmart supermarkets. Walmart has stated that due to diminishing foot traffic and lower profits they have slowly closed Subway units. 

McDonald’s comes second with 571 locations. Typically a McDonald’s store makes more than $2.1M a year, but a store situated in a Walmart only makes $900K annually. The pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s comes third with 227 stores. 18% of Auntie Anne’s in the US are present at Walmart stores. 

Dunkin’ comes fourth with 75 stores. The donut company also sells its products at all Walmart supermarkets such as coffee beans and drinks. Walmart has smaller chains that have been around for a long time such as Checkers, Rally’s, and Philly Pretzel Factory.

Taco Bell, Domino’s, and other new Restaurant Tenants

Walmart may be parting ways with McDonald’s as demonstrated by the hundreds of restaurant closures taking place this year in big box stores. Yet that does not mean Walmart has given up on fast food. Instead, Walmart has been testing a variety of other options to replace closed McDonald’s, exploring restaurant brands such as Domino’s and Taco Bell that do not rely on store traffic and solutions that focus on meals to go and delivery. 

Walmart has just started testing Yum Brands’ Domino’s and Taco Bell in stores. Based on our store data, we found Taco Bell and Domino’s locations that were near closed McDonald’s. There are 39 Domino’s stores and 68 Taco Bell stores that were less than half a mile away from a closed McDonald’s.

Nathan’s Famous Inc, a New York brand best known for its hot dogs, has partnered with Ghost Kitchen to launch 100 non-traditional locations by the end of 2021. So far, on Walmart’s website, one Nathan’s restaurant in Carson City, Nevada has been confirmed. The plan is to convert closed McDonald’s and Subway stores into Ghost Kitchens.

Pizza Chains

From Walmart’s point of view, customers are looking for convenience. That is why brands such as Domino’s are a perfect fit with their pick-up and delivery options. Currently, Domino’s is at 30 Walmart supermarkets. 

Besides Domino’s, there are four other pizza chains at Walmart locations –  Papa Johns, Papa Murphys, Little Caesars, and Marcos Pizza. These stores were tested years ago but were not as successful.


Walmart Embracing other fast-food chains in its Stores

At one point in time, McDonald’s was the exclusive restauranteur at Walmart. But in the past year, hundreds of McDonald’s within Walmart have closed. By the end of the summer, it is estimated that only 150 stores will remain open. The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed in-store shopping at Walmart centers nationwide and moved to online retail. 

While McDonald’s and Subway are moving in different directions, Walmart can focus on other restaurant brands. In some cases, Walmart has expressed that the best use of its space is to use it for non-food services and businesses such as salons and tool rental companies. 

The ScrapeHero Data Store tracks store closures and openings, that focus on supermarket stores, discount stores, department stores, and healthcare. You can subscribe to our store data plans and get datasets with data points such as store openings, store closures, parking availability, in-store pickup option, services, subsidiaries, nearest competitor stores, and much more.

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