American fast food chain Subway is reportedly planning to shut down around 500 additional stores in the US this year.

The company closed 800 stores in the country last year, reducing its store count to 25,908.

Bloomberg reported that the closures are part of the restaurant’s plans to expand footprint internationally by opening around 1,000 stores across the world.

The move by Subway follows the announcement last year about plans to renovate its stores and insisting franchise owners to invest more into operations in the US.

Subway chief executive officer Suzanne Greco was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We want to be sure that we have the best location.

“We focused in the past on restaurant count. We’re focused now on strengthening market share. Store count isn’t everything. It’s about growing the business.”

In March this year, Subway introduced Subway MyWay Rewards loyalty programme offering rewards and deals to customers that can be redeemed at approximately 28,500 participating restaurants in the US.

As part of the programme, the company is offering more than 37 million sandwich and salad combinations accessible to customers.

Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, Subway currently offers made-to-order sandwiches, subs, soups, and salads at more than 44,000 restaurants in 112 countries.

The restaurant chain currently also offers delivery service through its online website, and the Subway app available in select markets.