GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GNC.”
As of March 31, 2012, GNC has more than 7,700 locations, of which more than 5,900 retail locations are in the United States (including 928 franchise and 2,146 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 56 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made).
In 1935, David Shakarian opened a small health food store, Lackzoom, in downtown Pittsburgh. He only made USD $35 on his first day, but was able to open a second store within six months. A year later, Shakarian suffered from what appeared to be a fatal blow when the Ohio River flooded on St. Patrick’s Day. Both of his stores were wiped out. However, he quickly rebuilt both stores, and opened five more by 1941.
During the health food craze of the 1960s, Shakarian expanded his chain outside Pittsburgh for the first time, and in the process changed its name to General Nutrition Center. He continued to run the chain until his death in 1984. Numico acquired GNC in 1999; it sold GNC to Apollo Management in 2003. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Ares Management bought GNC in 2007. wikipedia
In 2010 GNC went public and despite a large debt overhead has done well in the stock market:-
“The first thing GNC did right was changing its marketing. Long a favorite of muscle builders, GNC made the smart move by pushing that hard core product to the back and gearing its advertising towards women (including ESPN’s Jenn Brown) and dedicating more of its stores to boomers.
Many were also concerned about GNC’s margins. GNC doesn’t make much money off the brands owned by others and there were plenty of people I spoke to who thought that brand loyalty in the vitamin space was hard to come by (consumers just bought the cheapest stuff they could get their hands on). But GNC grew its own brands like Mega Men, Ultra Mega and Pro Performance and the company had a very successful launch of its new Beyond Raw sports nutrition line. More than half (about 56 percent) of the products now in their stores are owned and produced by GNC. About 80 percent of its business is in vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements and sports nutrition products.
Not only has GNC excelled at making its own products, it did well producing vitamins and supplements for third party vendors like Rite Aid , Sam’s Club and Drugstore.com. To address online competition, it bought one of the biggest players in the marketplace, LuckyVitamin.com, for $21 million. LuckyVitamin.com currently offers over 30,000 SKU’s. Proving the power of the brand, GNC.com sales have risen between 30 and 40 percent this fiscal year.” CNBC website
So another public company in the vitamin game.Although initally well known for muscle building supplements GNC has moved , as sated above, to the boomer and female marketplace. They even started an online diary of women losing weight – so you could follow along.
Personally I have reservations about public company’s that serve us health products, because as mentioned before, the public company’s number one commitemedt (by law) is to its shasreholders. That is it should show constant and good returns on their investment in the comnapy. Ideally of coutrse that should be done by offering the best prodcut at the best price in themarketplace. But as we know, there are easier ways to create share value.
That aside GNC had been around and done well, and has many loyal customers. Usually in any rating of top multivitamins GNC will come in the top twenty. Currently it is priced on their web site at $20 for a bottle of 90 tablets. Not a bad price.
GNC states Ultra mega gold is:
Nutrient-dense multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant formula designed to support:
- Energy Production
- Heart Health
- Eye Health
- Healthy Digestion
- TIMED RELEASE
Go for the gold with GNC’s most potent multiple vitamin for men and women. Ultra Mega® Gold is scientifically designed and combines important ingredients essential to maintaining good health. Just two timed-release caplets provide important vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants.
Energy Production & Metabolism
- Features 100 mg B-vitamin complex. B-vitamins are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.*
- Minerals play an important role in maintaining health and are involved in key processes in the body including metabolism.*
Heart & Eye Health
- Includes lycopene and B-vitamins such as folic acid, B6 and B12 that are important for maintaining cardiovascular health.*
- Provides lutein, an important carotenoid, that supports eye health.*
- Enzymes such as protease, lipase and amylase facilitate normal digestion by breaking food down into simpler compounds so the body can use the food’s nutrients.*
- Offers protection from harmful free radicals that can destroy healthy cells and promote the cell aging process.*
- Combines antioxidant vitamins C and E with alpha-lipoic acid, tocotrienol complex, green tea and lycopene.
A good product, but for the price and with such strong competition available, I think there are better supplements we can choose. But there are many loyal GNC customers, so its doing something right.