Dunkin', the coffee and doughnut chain formally known as Dunkin' Donuts, is set to permanently shutter 450 locations by the end of this year.
The stores permanently closing, however, are all located in Speedway gas stations. The closure announcement follows the termination of the coffee chain's partnership with Hess, which was acquired by Speedway in 2014.
According to a Dunkin' statement provided to TODAY Food, the move will help support the chain's efforts to focus on its larger standalone cafes.
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"These points of distribution are lower volume units, in total representing less than 0.5% of Dunkin’ U.S. annual systemwide sales in 2019," Kate Jaspon, Dunkin's chief financial officer, told TODAY of the Speedway locations via email. The dissolution of the partnership between the coffee chain and gas station company was first made public during an earnings call in February.
Dunkin' locations housed inside the gas stations (which are mainly located on the East Coast) are much smaller than typical standalone stores and also have limited menus.
"By exiting these sites, we are confident we will be better positioned to serve these trade areas with Dunkin’s newest Next Generation restaurant design that offers a broader menu and modern experience," Jaspon continued. "We also remain committed to growing our presence in gas and convenience locations, as well as other non-traditional locations, including airports, universities, travel plazas and military installations."
But folks may not need to map out a totally new route for their summer road trip to accommodate a convenient coffee and gas station pit stop as many of the Speedways are still running on Dunkin' currently.
“Very few of the approximately 450 Speedway owned and operated limited menu Dunkin’ locations have closed to date," a company spokesperson told TODAY in a statement Friday.
However, the chain says it remains on track to close all Speedway locations by the end of the year.
The regional closures come amid a big brand overhaul that kicked off in January 2019 when Dunkin' dropped the "Donuts" from its title.
Since then, the company has undergone some significant initiatives that included installing new espresso machines, ditching styrofoam and selling most of its coffee beverages in more eco-friendly cups and adding plant-based proteins to its breakfast sandwiches.
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