Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Business & Operations Buzz

GNC sold to investors
In a deal worth approximately $1.65 billion, two private investment groups acquired the parent company of General Nutrition Centers Inc. on Feb. 9. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, an independent corpo?ration responsible for investing the fund and administering the pensions of Ontario's 264,000 active and retired teachers, and Ares Management LLC, whose portfolio includes Serta, Samsonite Corp., Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Inc. and Maidenform Brands, signed the deal, acquiring GNC Parent Corp., previously controlled by an affiliate of Apollo Management L.P. Vitamin retailer GNC, based in Pittsburgh, has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States and franchise operations in 46 international markets, which generated sales of about $1.5 billion for the 12 months ending Sept. 30. In the past 20 years, GNC has gone public, been bought out by a larger public company, and gone back to private ownership.

Insurance help for naturals retailers
For mom-and-pop shops, as for anyone, buying insurance can be a harrowing experience. But now an insurance company is exclusively serving health-food retailers and manufacturers, offer?ing group and individual medical insurance, as well as other business insurance.The Health Food Insurance Group, based in Guilford, Conn., recently extended its group and individual medical coverage to the entire United States. The group can help health-food retailers set up health savings accounts for employees, as well as set up insurance tailored specifically to retailers' needs, like private-label insurance, business-income loss insurance, food-spoilage loss insurance and employment practice coverage. For more information about the group's policies, visit

Can't get no satisfaction
Job satisfaction is on a widespread decline, according to a recent survey of 5,000 U.S. households conducted for The Conference Board by market information company TNS, based in London. "The breadth of dissatisfaction is somewhat unsettling," says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, because "it carries over from what attracts employees to a job to what keeps them motivated and productive on the job." According to the survey, the newest entrants to the work force are the least satisfied with their jobs, with fewer than two of every five workers under age 25 saying they're satisfied with their jobs—the lowest level ever recorded in the nearly 20-year history of the survey.The most content workers live in the mountain states—Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico—and make more than $50,000.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 4/p. 16

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