G N C Seals Franchise Deal With Clicks

Saturday, February 15, 2014

CLICKS Group will launch New York-listed health and wellness retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) in South Africa through an exclusive franchise agreement, the company said on Wednesday

GNC's international range of vitamins, supplements, sports nutrition and slimming products will be available in more than 50 Clicks stores from late this month. The first GNC stand-alone store will open at Cresta Shopping Centre in Johannesburg on April 1.

A further three stores will be opened this year.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, GNC has more than 8,400 outlets, including more than 6,300 retail locations in the US. It also has franchise operations in 55 countries.

GNC revenue for the 2013 financial year totalled $2.43bn.

Clicks Group CEO David Kneale said its relationship with GNC would allow it to capitalise on the increasing trend to self-medication. "In our experience, customers are becoming more health and lifestyle conscious, opting for preventative rather than curative medicine.

"We are proud to have attracted another high-profile international brand to the country which will support our organic growth strategy in the health and beauty markets," he said,

Clicks introduced UK-based retailer The Body Shop, which it operates under a long-term franchise agreement, into South Africa in 2001. The chain now has 46 stores across SA and capsule ranges in more than 70 Clicks stores. The Body Shop grew sales 6.3% and in comparable stores 2.9% in the 21 weeks to January 19. The Body Shop loyalty programme accounts for more than 57% of its sales.

Sean Kristafor, general manager of GNC's South African business, said that GNC would give Clicks access to extensive research and development, product innovation, and global health and wellness trends. He said GNC aimed to set the standard in the global nutritional supplement industry.

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