GNC, VSI are supplement success stories


In what may be a bellwether for the dietary supplement industry, stock valuations of the two publicly traded retailers who practically sell nothing but dietary supplements are 
up significantly.

As of late May, GNC was trading up 94.5% as compared with its year-ago valuation of $20.33; Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) was up 22.9% from $40.73.

More and more, these specialty retailers are looking to evolve into the quintessential health-and-wellness destination — and it’s working. “I look at our numbers, and I know we have to be taking market share [from food, drug and mass],” GNC president and CEO Joe Fortunato recently told analysts. “It only makes sense with the industry growth 
where it’s at.”

If GNC is taking market share, then Vitamin Shoppe is hoarding it. Approximately one-sixth the size of GNC in terms of store count, sales at Vitamin Shoppe’s brick-and-click operations already are more than half those at GNC. 

This year, Vitamin Shoppe is test marketing smaller-footprint stores in smaller markets to increase the volume of markets in which that vitamin retailer can operate. GNC, meanwhile, is looking to transform its Gold Card discount program — already boasting more than 5 million members — into a loyalty card program.

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