GNC Temporarily Closes Stores in Strategic Planning

American commercial enterprise focused on the retail sale of health and nutrition related products, GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) has briefly closed all 4,464 of its U.S. locations, as it rolls out its revamped pricing strategy, according to CNBC. The one-day closures come two months after the retailer admitted that inconsistent prices on its website and in stores, as well as discrepancies over what it charged loyalty members versus casual buyers, were making its locations confusing to shoppers. Investors weren’t happy with GNC’s strategy, which was designed to stem a slide in revenue. Shares down over 3 percent after the announcement.

“The new GNC leaves the old, broken model behind,” interim CEO Robert Moran said in a news release. Moran, who joined GNC’s board in 2013, was appointed to the interim role in July, when Michael Archbold exited after two years.

“It will take time for the changes to take hold and translate to improved financial results,” Moran admitted in a news release. “We’re making these investments because we believe in this business.”

GNC tested its changes in seven markets, and said it was “encouraged by the improvements” it saw. The cost consumers pay for its products will go down on about half of its items; stay the same on about a quarter of them; and go up on another quarter. While GNC assumes its strategy will bring more shoppers into its stores, but there will be short term consequences. When the company raised prices on its website to better align with what shoppers pay in stores, the changes sparked a 30 percent quarterly decline in same-store sales. In May, GNC began working with Goldman Sachs to review its strategic options, including a potential sale of the company.

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