The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on vitamin/nutrition retailer GNC.
Even before COVID-19, GNC was having troubles, facing slumping sales and the prospect of closing 900 locations by the end of 2020.
Now, the coronavirus-related shutdowns of 30% of stores have made things even worse for GNC, as they’ve announced more closures and a plan to survive that’ll change the company forever.
GNC is now planning to close as many as 1,200 stores — 1/4 of all locations.
GNC’s pre-COVID plans included closing 900 underperforming stores between 2019 and 2022. Now that number could reach as high as 1,200, they say — an increase of another 33%.
That’s about 1 out of 4 of GNC’s 4,800 U.S. stores.
And it’s happening now; GNC says they’ll accelerate closing the 1,200 stores.
They’ve announced the first 219 GNC stores that’ll close.
These recently published closures are mainly focused on GNC mall locations.
California has the most closures of any state so far with 27, followed by 17 in GNC’s home state of Pennsylvania, 13 in Illinois, and 12 in Florida. Browse the full list here.
GNC is looking for a buyer so the company can continue.
GNC is going to be sold via auction with a base purchase price of $760 million. They’re hoping that there will be a bidding war to boost that price.
A buyout, GNC says, would allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy this fall.
Franchise GNC stores aren’t affected.
GNC has more than 1,000 locations owned by independent franchisees. Like we saw with Gold’s Gym, the bankruptcy filing doesn’t affect them, nor the company’s international operations.