The Story Behind the Subway $5 Footlong Promotion

The Accidental Hero (BusinessWeek)

Subway's Strong Pricing PromotionThe Subway $5 Footlong is a wildly successful promotion.  With the help of a sizable advertising campaign the promotion is one of the most successful sales promotions currently being offered by any retailer and has generated sales of nearly $4 billion in one year.

But the back-story on how Subway came up with this idea may be even more interesting than the success of the program.  As this story discusses, a single franchisee operating two small stores in Florida had the original idea.  To Subway’s credit they listen to their franchisees, which not all franchises seem to do, and it has paid off nicely.

Frankel’s $5 footlong idea illustrates how a huge company can wake up and eventually seize on a good idea that’s not generated at headquarters. Frankel, along with two other local managers in economically ravaged South Florida, ceaselessly championed the idea to Subway’s corporate leadership amid widespread skepticism.

How much of the success of this sales promotion is tied to a down economy and what is the likelihood Subway will continue the promotion once the economy begins to recover?

Image by jbrisch

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