Subway's Impossible Dream: Catching Up with McDonald's in China
DeLuca must be betting the McDonald's won't increase its own store count. China has been one of the fastest-growing markets for the world's largest fast-food chain. In January, McDonald's said it would increase its capital investment in the most populous country on earth by 25% in 2010 and add 150 to 175 stores. That would make its outlet growth rate as fast, if not faster, than Subway's.
China has become a Holy Grail for retailers of every sort. Its 1.4 billion population is a temptation that many American companies cannot resist. But how many Chinese customers will want sandwiches on long buns with fresh meat and a wide variety of toppings? Big Macs have been selling better, in China as well as the U.S.