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McDonald's Pulls Plug on 'Redbox' Vending Machines

WASHINGTON - McDonald's has shut its 24-hour vending machines that were being tested in Washington, D.C., The Associated Press reports. Only the DVD rental service offered by the kiosks remained active.

The 24-hour kiosks, operating under the name "Redbox," dispensed a wide variety of convenience foods and groceries, including milk, eggs, bread, detergent, shaving cream, paper towels, bandages and sandwiches. Most were located outside McDonald's restaurants. Customers paid for their goods with credit cards and cash. The machine also featured an ATM machine with a 25-cent surcharge.

Local residents said that while the DVD rentals did a brisk business, it was rare to see anyone buying the other items, according to the report.

"McDonald's is focused on bringing more customers into our 30,000 existing restaurants all around the world," McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa Howard said on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, the Redbox automated convenience store didn't fit into that long-term growth strategy."

However, DVD rentals will continue, according to Howard. "That initiative does have the potential to add more customer visits to our restaurants," she said.

Howard declined to discuss financial performance of the Redbox machines.
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