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GNC CEO: Brands need to step up for specialty retailersGNC CEO: Brands need to step up for specialty retailers

In its second quarter earnings call, GNC discussed a need to refocus on customer and specialty offerings in response to a recent sales slump.

Christine Kapperman

July 29, 2014

1 Min Read
At GNC, net income increases as sales decline slows in third quarter 2019

Brand partnership, private label and an October reset are among the items in GNC’s five-point plan to move away from a “Kmart on sale” feel and regain supplement retail position.  

Vendors need to step up to the plate for the specialty market, GNC CEO, Chairman and President Joe Fortunato made clear during the supplement retailer’s second-quarter earnings call July 29.

“The relationship with the vendor has not favored the specialty retailer as much as it used to,” he said.

It’s a refrain heard regularly among independent natural foods and supplement retailers feeling pressure from mass market retail growth into natural, organic and healthy living products.  

“They are going to have to give us specialty offerings like they did before or we are going to continue to move toward what’s made this company successful in the past and that’s more and more acceleration of our own brands in the marketplace,” Fortunato said.

Fortunato spent a thoughtful 76 minutes discussing the chain’s second-quarter 0.2 percent consolidated revenue fall.

The GNC revival plan includes:

  • Refocusing on the brand, including private label expansion.

  • Demanding better vendor proposition including exclusivity.

  • Merchandising to a broader customer base beyond the core. Targeting female customers is key here, as are growing natural and organic product offerings. An updated store layout will increase customer interaction with store staff. Changes have begun but will be most apparent after the scheduled October reset.

  • Simplifying pricing so that customers understand it without a calculator.

  • Marketing in a more impactful way, particularly through relevant, personalized offers and increasing the value of being a GNC Gold Card member.

About the Author(s)

Christine Kapperman

Senior Content Director, New Hope Network

As the senior content director at New Hope Network, Christine Kapperman combines her 20-year journalism background with her passion for business to cover the natural products industry for newhope.com and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. She also led content at worldteanews.com. She loves tracking (and tasting) trends as she shares what’s next to show up in cups, plates and in pantries across the United States.

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