Sbarro closing 155 locations

Sbarro closing 155 locations

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Sbarro Inc. is closing 155 of its locations, mostly in mall food courts where traffic has declined, the company said.

The Melville, N.Y.-based pizza chain said Wednesday the closures affect 1,400 workers. The move comes as the company is trying to improve its financial performance under its new leadership team that took over in 2013.

Jonathan Dedmon, a representative for Sbarro, says the targeted locations will close Thursday.

"The last day of business is today," he wrote in an email.

Sbarro owns 400 locations in North America. The closures do not affect 175 Sbarro locations that are owned by franchisees. Sbarro will operate 800 stores worldwide after the closures, including 81 that were opened last year.

The announcement comes after the privately held company had touted a revamped pizza recipe in 2012 in hopes of boosting sales.

Sbarro filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2012 when it was no longer able to contend with rising food costs and declining sales related to the recession. The company completed its reorganization and left Chapter 11 protection in November 2012, saying at the time that it had significantly cut its debt and received a new $35 million capital infusion.

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