GNC rebrands for health and wellness market

GNC is getting a makeover—the vitamin and supplement retailer now wants to appeal to the masses. The chain is removing photos of chiseled athletes from stores and swapping them with more mainstream images, such as couples jogging on the beach or a father playing with his child.

Now an 81-year-old company, GNC wants to market itself as an inclusive health and wellness resource for all consumers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

CEO Michael Archbold, who took the helm one year ago, spearheaded the initiative based on the knowledge that the sports nutrition market is only worth $5 billion and the broader health and wellness category accounts for $37 billion in annual sales. While the shift may be big, the retailer hopes it will not put off existing customers.

Health and wellness is becoming an increasingly popular sector for retailers as consumer interest in healthy living continues to grow.

CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is one retailer leading the pack for this trend. Beyond a recent name change to reflect the drugstore chain's shift in priorities, CVS Health also added new services such as an IBM computing platform to help customers with chronic diseases and an updated version of its mobile app. Perhaps the most drastic leap toward wellness was the ban on tobacco sales in all its stores last year.

GNC operates more than 9,000 stores and has recorded $2.6 billion in sales.

Earlier this year, the New York attorney general's office scrutinized the purity of some of GNC's products. The retailer quickly resolved the matter, and has now adopted steps to make improvements. GNC's profits are still behind from a year ago, with the company reporting a 3.6 percent drop for the second quarter. Archbold is now pushing for expansion in its franchise division.

GNC made another strategic move last year by starting to use eBay Now (NASDAQ:EBAY), eBay's same-day delivery service. The chain joined big-name retailers, such as Target, JCPenney, Macy's and Best Buy, that also use the service.

For more:
-See this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article

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