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Natural Foods Merchandiser

New Vitamin Shoppe in the works

New Vitamin Shoppe in the works
With a focus on the customer journey and integrated online and in-store experience, Vitamin Shoppe has retained a "reinvention firm."

A reinvented Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE: VSI) is in the works, CEO Colin Watts announced Wednesday during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

The company has been focusing on deep customer research and last month contracted a reinvention firm to help advance the vitamin and supplement retailer.

Customer acquisition is central as the chain aims to on-ramp customers into the Vitamin Shoppe experience, Watts said. This means understanding and engaging in the complete shopper journey, from when one chooses to make a healthy change to the chosen solution, online, in the community and in store.

Watts said more information would be forthcoming but noted that the reinvented Vitamin Shoppe could bridge into adjacent VMS categories and attract additional customer segments. Already the company has completed resets with similar goals and found success in on-the-go nutrition and increased functional foods and personal care offerings.

Additionally, customer-focused training and incentives have grown sales, including double-digit in-store growth for its private Nutri-Force brand, Watts reported.

Mixed second-quarter results “delivered against our reset expectations,” Watts said, highlighting improved gross margin.

Earnings highlights include:

  • Total net sales in the second quarter increased 5.3 percent to $322.3 million, compared with $306.2 million in the same period of the prior year. 
  • Gross profit increased $5.4 million, or 5.2 percent to $108.3 million, compared with $102.9 million for second quarter 2014.
  • Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 33.6 percent.
  • Retail comparable sales were down 0.6 percent.
  • E-commerce comparable sales were down 6 percent.
  • The Vitamin Shoppe opened 13 stores in the quarter and closed four.
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