Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The weight of a Quarter Pounder…

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Check Out what Quarter Pounders mean for McDonald’s.MCDONALDS/

The world’s biggest fast-food chain posted a 1.4 percent increase in February sales at its restaurants open at least 13 months. Strong same-store sales in the U.S. softened the blow from a stronger U.S. dollar, which eats into the value of overseas sales.

McDonald’s cited demand for its ‘Quarter Pounder’ hamburger sandwich in the United States — a testament to the trend that more consumers are migrating to cheaper restaurants as they try to save money in a global economic downturn.

For example, the Arby’s unit of Wendy’s/Arby’s, which competes with McDonald’s, faced a tough time in the past quarter as rivals offered discounts to lure diners, while the Wendy’s segment, with its revamped 99-cent value menu, fared better.

McDonald’s, which caters to roughly 58 million consumers every day, still expects the dollar’s strength to pressure its sales and margin comparisons in the first quarter.

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