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Top GNC Executives Tour Pittsburgh Market to Present New Business Plan and Expansion Possibilities; Meeting will focus on new business strategies and growth

PITTSBURGH --General Nutrition Companies, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, today announced a cross-country tour of top franchising markets, including Pittsburgh to meet face-to-face with local franchisees to discuss growth over the last 3 years in their market and in the industry in general, new business-building initiatives and the opportunity for local expansion including incorporating GNC's new smoothie bar concept into local stores.

During the annual, local meeting, Pittsburgh-based franchise operator, Scott Hood will be honored with the Highest 2001 Sales Award for the Pittsburgh market.

Russell L. Cooper, GNC Franchising's Senior Vice President and General Manager, said, "We are excited to visit our franchisees, roll up our sleeves and work on what we can do together to grow their businesses."

Cooper and other top GNC Franchising executives will meet with existing GNC franchisees in the Pittsburgh area to present new business plans and marketing initiatives. Among them, GNC's newly expanded seven-day Gold Card program that allows Gold Card members to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on purchases made during the first seven days of every month and the company's new Mix and Match Buy One, Get One 50 percent off program.

Mr. Cooper added, "Now, more than ever, Americans are more health conscious and are demanding high-quality products for healthy living. To meet that consumer need, we have identified the Pittsburgh market as a place where it makes good business sense to expand the GNC franchise opportunity to qualified candidates. We are confident that markets such as Pittsburgh offer solid opportunities for expansion as part of our plan to award 90 new franchise stores around the U.S. in 2002."

GNC Franchising was named by Entrepreneur magazine as the number one franchise in the vitamin and nutritional supplement sector for the 13th consecutive year. In the last 90 days, GNC has awarded forty-three stores; thirty of those stores have gone to existing franchise operators.

GNC offers comprehensive support: site-selection, a three-phase training program, and a unique global intranet support system that provides GNC franchisees with on online training and product information, as well as operations, training and local marketing tools to help them meet their financial objectives. GNC's extensive franchise experience and support, combined with GNC's proven operating system and established brand presence, has resulted in the company rising to the top among industry franchise opportunities. It is the mission of GNC Franchising to be a worldwide leader in franchising by developing the world's highest quality support service and awarding license agreements to qualified candidates who share its growth and customer service objectives.

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets, including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in The Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., China, Australia and the USA.

More information about GNC and franchising opportunities is available from GNC Franchising, Inc., call 1-800-766-7099, visit the website at or email to [email protected]

Media: Miller DeMartine Group
Annette Powers
[email protected]

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