GNC and Walmart have entered into an agreement that will be as assortment of products to more than 4,000 Walmart stores and online.
The initial launch will consist of men's and women's essential vitamins and minerals. GNC stated that after the initial launch sports nutrition and weight management products will be added to the mix.
“With this collaboration we can deliver the GNC experience to a whole new group of consumers. With retailers like Walmart in our court, I’m confident our expanding wholesale distribution will continue making GNC the most trusted and recognized personal health and wellness brand in the marketplace,” Josh Burris, CEO of GNC, said in a statement. “The future of the wellness industry has a place for everyone, and GNC is making a healthy lifestyle more accessible than ever by delivering quality products to consumers via Walmart's expansive network of stores.”
GNC is currently in more than 1,600 Rite Aid drug stores. This new agreement with Walmart has been described as "exclusive." We are unsure how that impacts the exclusive agreement that GNC has had with Rite Aid since 1998.
Other unknowns are what will happen to vitamins, minerals, sports nutrition and weight management products currently being sold in Walmart stores.
GNC filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2020. The company sold virtually all their assets to China-based Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co. Ltd. As part of that proceeding the company had planned to close 800-1,200 of their retail stores.
More info as it comes.
Interesting move by both companies. GNC has been struggling for some time, with another bankruptcy in 2020. With the additional store closures, GNC had to find a way to expand their footprint. A partnership with Walmart is not a bad way to get that started. We've seen other "pop up" stores within a larger retailer in other areas of business. CVS and Target partnered for the pharmacy. HyVee partnered with DSW Shoes to have a store within a store. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for both parties, but maybe even more-so how it impacts the current vendors within the Walmart ecosystem.