McDonald's comparable sales slip again in October

by Jeff Gelski
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OAK BROOK, Ill. – Global comparable sales for McDonald’s Corp. dropped 0.5 percent in October as all three major segments reported decreases. Comparable sales in the United States slipped 1 percent in the month, and they were down 0.7 percent in Europe and 4.2 percent in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA). The Other Countries and Corporate segment, which includes Canada and Latin America, contributed positively to comparable sales performance.

For the calendar year through Oct. 31, global comparable sales were down 1 percent, including the United States, down 2.1 percent, Europe, down 0.4 percent, and APMEA, down 2.9 percent.

“Today's consumers increasingly prefer customizable food options, dining in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere and using more convenient ways to order and pay for their meals,” said Don Thompson, McDonald's president and CEO, when October sales were announced Nov. 10. "At McDonald's, we are diligently working to bring these elements of the customer experience to life through McDonald's ‘Experience of the future.’ Although October results reflect our current business challenges, we are moving with a sense of urgency to improve the trajectory of our financial performance while taking the actions necessary to pursue the brand's long-term potential.”

McDonald’s faced strong competitive activity in the US in October. The company is simplifying the menu and creating a new organizational structure in the US. To better address the competitive dynamics of local markets, the company wants to bring decision making closer to customers.

In Europe, weak results in Russia were due to factors related to the operating environment, including temporary restaurant closures. The weakening of the Euro and the Russian ruble also was a factor.

In APMEA, a strong performance in Australia partly offset the ongoing impact of a supplier issue in Japan and China. McDonald’s is executing multi-faceted initiatives to restore customer trust in the McDonald’s brand in the markets affected by the supply issue.
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