GNC Live Well

Wellspring of well-being
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

For the past few years, GNC Live Well Philippines has been known to be a men's fitness/wellness shop catering to health and sport nutrition needs. Today, the spruced-up wellness spectrum embraces not only the distaff needs but that of the entire family as well. This new wellness experience is brought to the fore with the launching of the GNC Store at the upper ground floor of Alabang Town Center. The new outlet will sport the look of all GNC stores in America and overseas. So that the GNC experience becomes global, wherever you visit them.
“This is a new lifestyle concept. It's not just for health buffs but for mothers and children as well,” declared GNC Phils COO Freida Lim, during an intimate media huddle.
After over seven decades, GNC has come full circle with its range of health & wellness products. “There will be relocations and renovations in the next eight months. GNC will beome a refreshing new format. Relatively new locations can retain their store structure but new leases will definitely go for refurbishment. We used to be very brown and earth-toned but now we're brighter and whiter reflecting more light. Stores have become cleaner, more attractive that attention is drawn to the outlets. It has a more clinical feel but in a very inviting way,” enthused director for international operations Ken Tillet.
In 1935, David Shakarian realized his dream by establishing a little health food store, called Lackzoom, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shakarian's first storefront was located at 418 Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Lackzoom specialized in yogurt, a food that his father helped introduce in the United States, while also selling other healthy foods such as honey, grains and "healthysandwiches."
Even though health food was thought of as a passing fad back then, people welcomed the Lackzoom store. And, although his first day's receipts totaled only $35, the late Mr. Shakarian was able to go on and make enough money to open a second location six months later.
Disaster struck with the 1936 St. Patrick's Day flood, which wiped out both of Shakarian's stores. Fortunately, he was able to reopen both locations and went on to own six more Pittsburgh area stores within the next five years. The '60s decade saw many changes, and people began to embrace the concept of natural foods and better nutrition. Shakarian met the growing demand by opening stores in other states. In this process, he also changed the name of his chain to General Nutrition Centers (GNC).
As the store count continued to grow, GNC began producing its own vitamin and mineral supplements as well as foods, beverages and cosmetics. By the early 1980s, the number of GNC locations had grown to more than 1,000.
Although its founder died in 1984, GNC has steadfastly continued to expand upon Shakarian's dream. General Nutrition Centers, Inc. still has Pittsburgh roots, and its world headquarters is located just two blocks from the original Lackzoom storefront.
“Our goal is to share the countless health benefits of our nutritional supplements to help people live a healthier life. We know the challenges that most people face in today’s demanding lifestyle. They’re busier than ever before, often working longer and taking more active roles struggling to balance their career, family and social life, while trying to stay healthy, in-shape and on top of their game all day, every day!” intoned Ken, who flew into the country with international office head Ms. Karen Kuehneman from the GNC USA office, and discussed about the new GNC experience and its future plans.
GNC is the world’s leading provider of information, products and services in the self-care and personal enhancement market. The company offers the widest health solution of nutritional supplements from vitamins, minerals, herbs, to beauty, preventive, sports nutrition, diet and weight management products for every individual, health condition and lifestyle.
GNC offers products in Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Ginseng, Aromatherapy, Herbs, Sports Nutrition, Personal Care, Children & Teen Health.
“We stay ahead of competition and always growing the brand. We have more than 5,000 retail locations throughout the United States (including more than 1,000 franchise and 1,200 Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in more than 45 international markets, plus 15 global distribution networks including the Philippines. Our closest competitor has only 500 branches in mainland USA,” stressed Ken.
GNC was named America’s Best Franchise by Franchise Times in 1997, America's #1 Retail Franchise by Entrepreneur International in 1998 and ranked No.1 in category by Entrepreneur’s 2008 Franchise 500. Through hard work and dedication, the company continues to maintain excellent ratings.
“We now have a new well-being line for women ages 25-45 to help take care of themselves as well as Longevity products for people ages 50 and above. We also have a Pet's Line providing vitamins for cats and dogs. Our products are more chewy for easier digestion,” Ken concluded,
GNC sets the standard in the nutritional supplement industry by demanding truth in labeling, ingredient safety and product potency, all while remaining on the cutting-edge of nutritional science. As the company has grown over the years, so has its commitment to Living Well. In fact, GNC is the world's largest company of its kind devoted exclusively to helping its customers improve the quality of their lives.
From scientific research and new product discovery to the manufacturing and packaging processes, GNC takes pride in its rigorous approach to ensuring quality. Its commitment to quality extends to the interactions with each customer in their stores and after one buys their products.
Total Nutrition Corporation is the exclusive franchisee of General Nutrition Centers (GNC) in the Philippines. Established in January 2010, it is one of the newest subsidiaries of TAO Corporation -- one of the Philippines’ premier holding companies specializing in supply chain and distribution services. Founded in 1995 as TAO Commodity Trader, Inc., it is perhaps the country’s fastest growing company belonging to the Top 50 Corporations with an annual consolidated group turnover of more than Php30 billion (US$652 million).
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