An online retail pioneer in the health and wellness industry has partnered with private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners to boost the company he birthed 12 years ago, then sold six years later.
Today, Sam Wolf and TSG announced their partnership and acquisition of LuckyVitamin.com from GNC Holdings.
Wolf founded the ecommerce business from the family’s bricks-and-mortar health food store. In 2011, with reported revenues of $40 million, he sold the company to GNC. He remained on board as founder and chief wellness spreader of the Pennsylvania-based company.
The terms of the new partnership and purchase have not been disclosed.
Wolf felt “natural chemistry” with TSG as he met with potential buyers or partners to take back LuckyVitamin as its own company. GNC is focusing on its One New GNC plan to refocus and grow in a challenging retail environment.
TSG is known in the health and wellness space for such brands as thinkThin, popchips, vitaminwater and others that LuckyVitamin, as a key retailer, helped build, Wolf said. “We felt like partners to start with,” he said.
Facing the pace of industry and retail change causes no pause for Wolf.
“The opportunity to get reinvested, when that came around, it wasn’t even a question for me,” he said. “For me, leaving was never an idea. One of the things after we joined GNC that I didn’t know at the time, and realized very quickly after, was that I didn’t have it in my nature to take it easier. In fact, I continued to push just as ever before and never really lost the feeling that it was still my baby. It was still something I felt very close to.”
Opportunities Wolf and TSG will tap include increasing customer satisfaction with quicker delivery, better offers and wider product selection, including some new categories. Technology improvements are also in the works.
Wolf believes the company can continue to stand on its value as a family business to differentiate in an increasingly competitive online environment.
“We take a much more personal approach in how we interact with our consumers,” Wolf said. “At our core, we are a family-operated business and that holds true with how we think about our consumers, and I think that’s hard for somebody to replicate.”