Mark it on your calendar, folks: October 2012 was the month Americans finally got sick of McDonald's. OK, that might be overstating it, but last month broke a nearly decade-long winning streak for the golden arches, as same-store sales fell 2.2%, their first drop since 2003, the Chicago Tribune reports. The culprit? The company is blaming "modest consumer demand" and increased competition from Wendy's, Burger King, and Taco Bell, all of which have managed to revitalize their menus and brand identities.
The sales drop was expected, and analysts have been urging investors to sell the stock for months. Shares have fallen to about $86, down from an all-time high of $101.74 in February. But Ronald's crew remains optimistic. To try to halt the decline, the company is focusing on promoting its Dollar Menu, after its more expensive "Extra Value Menu" fell flat with consumers. (Read more McDonald's stories.)