PITTSBURGH─GNC, the 85-year-old vitamin and health supplement chain company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, June 24 due to the financial impact of COVID-19 and plans to close at least 800 to 1,200 stores while searching for a buyer.
GNC had approximately 7,300 locations as of March 31, 2020 and nearly 5,200 of them are located in the United States. The company has expected to close up to 1,200 stores and said, “this acceleration will allow GNC to invest in the appropriate areas to evolve for the future, better positioning the company to meet current and future consumer demand around the world.”
GNC and Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., Ltd., an affiliate of GNC’s largest shareholder, have just reached an agreement on Tuesday, June 23 regarding the sale of the business. The agreement is reportedly outlining the purchase price at $760 million for the sale transaction, which will be a baseline price for the court-supervised auction.
“While some things have changed, our passion and dedication remain the same. We will continue to deliver industry-leading science-backed health and wellness solutions. Our knowledgeable store coaches look forward to providing you with ongoing exceptional service,” said GNC. The company said that they are always available 24/7 to deliver personalized solutions to customers at GNC’s website.
IVC, which is GNC’s largest vendor and a joint venture partner, is working with GNC to make sure a continued supply of products to the company and advance the proposed sale of GNC’s business.
“We will provide the same exclusive benefits to our loyalty and Pro customers that you have come to love and expect from us. We promise to dedicate every day to discover new ways to raise the bar, push through that wall, and reach new goals, with you always at the top of our minds,” said GNC. The case is being heard in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In addition, the company mentioned that they expect to file in the applicable Canadian court seeking recognition of the U.S. Chapter 11 proceeding.