Bloomberg News reports that Sbarro, the Italian pizza chain, is closing 155 of its 400 locations in North America in an attempt to improve the company’s profitability.
Sbarro tells Bloomberg that the closures affect underperforming company-owned stores and not franchise locations.
The Melville, NY-based chain emerged from bankruptcy in 2011, and is still trying to get back on its feet. Bloomberg reports,
Sbarro’s restaurants are concentrated in malls, where slowing traffic and muted consumer spending has taken a toll on food courts. Even as it scales back operations in its home country, the company has expanded overseas, including adding South American locations last year.
We can still remember grabbing a slice of Sbarro pizza at the mall after school, and the chain will forever be engrained in our nostalgia-filled hearts. We hope these store closures don’t indicate the impending demise of Sbarro, but they could.
The Twittersphere seems divided in terms of its feelings for Sbarro.
— Carey Polis (@careypolis) February 19, 2014
Sbarro to close 155 stores to improve profitability. How about not serving pizza that tastes like rotten stool? http://t.co/JPOi7WDjxw
— Mike Bodge (@mikebodge) February 19, 2014