WEST HOLLYWOOD—The GNC store at Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood will permanently close. The closing date is likely to be on Sunday, September 27, according to the staff. Everything in the store is now on sale for 50% to 70% off.
A staff member who wishes to remain nameless told Canyon News that he was not sure about whether the decision of closing the store was due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying customers and staff didn’t talk about that.
“Our business has been under financial pressure for the past several years as we have worked to pay down debt and reposition GNC to be more competitive in a challenging operating environment,” GNC stated on June 23. “The COVID-19 pandemic created a situation where we were unable to accomplish our refinancing and the abrupt change in the operating environment had a dramatic negative impact on our business.”
GNC, the 85-year-old vitamin and health supplement chain company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 24 and later closed several stores across the United States.
On September 10, the U.S. Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to express his concern over the national security after China-based Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co. attempted to buy GNC.
“The acquisition of a major health and nutrition chain with over 5,200 retail stores in the United States and an expansive customer base presents the opportunity for state-directed actors to purchase this information legally,” said Rubio.
He added, “efforts to obtain personal and sensitive data related to health information and financial transactions of U.S. persons must be reviewed with an understanding of the malign foreign policy and intelligence aims of the Chinese government and Communist Party.”
As no other qualified bids for GNC were submitted by September 11, a bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of GNC Holdings Inc. to Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co. for $770 million.