Subway closed hundreds of locations last year for the first time in its history

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Subway Restaurants, the largest restaurant chain in the US, shut down hundreds of locations in 2016.

The chain's store count dropped by 359 locations in the US last year — the first time in history that Subway experienced a net loss in locations, Bloomberg reported.

With 26,744 locations, Subway is still the most ubiquitous restaurant chain in the US, with McDonald's in the No. 2 spot.

Bloomberg reported that sales fell 1.7 percent last year to about $11.3 billion. The chain has struggled to keep up with fast-casual competitors like Panera and Sweetgreen better suited to meet Americans' swiftly evolving health trends.

Photo: Flickr

The company also faced negative publicity from a scandal involving its former spokesperson Jared Fogle. Fogle is currently serving a nearly 16-year prison sentence after being charged for having sex with minors and possessing child pornography. Subway cut ties with him last summer.

Subway has tried to revamp its image in the last year, launching a new logo last August and working to cut antibiotics from the menu.

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SEE ALSO: I went on the Subway Diet for a week — and it's clear why the chain is no longer America's destination for healthy fast food

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