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Americans are eating at McDonald’s less often, a trend the fast-food chain is fighting to reverse when people have more eating options than ever before. CEO Steve Easterbrook thinks he has a plan that can help turn the tide over the longer term. (July 13)
AP

NEW YORK — Subway wants to freshen up the look of its stores as it tries to stem a sales decline.

The sandwich chain says the redesign — which includes a brighter atmosphere, displays of vegetables behind the counter and ordering tablets — is the first major revamp since the early 2000s. The changes will take place as stores around the country are remodeled and new ones are built.

The makeover comes as Subway’s sales have fallen for four straight years amid competition from places including Jimmy John’s and Firehouse Subs. Since 2012, Subway’s average annual sales per store are down 13% at $420,000, according to industry tracker Technomic. Last year, its number of U.S. stores also shrank for the first time, though it still had more than 26,700 locations.

Don Fertman, Subway’s chief development officer, says franchise agreements require them to remodel stores every seven to 10 years. Fertman says the current “Tuscany” design was intended in part to reflect the Italian heritage of founder Fred DeLuca, who died in 2015. His sister, Suzanne Greco, is now CEO of the privately held company.

“It’s been working…