GNC made headlines this past week for closing 4400 stores nationwide. GNC wasn’t shutting down these stores permanently: they were giving stores time to revamp pricing.
The move comes as part of the “One New GNC” campaign, which is GNC’s name for their rebranding project. Stores were closed overnight to implement enormous pricing changes.
In addition to in-store pricing changes, the One New GNC rebrand will also introduce the My GNC Rewards program, a new loyalty program focused on attracting and retaining customers.
What do you need to know about GNC’s new rebrand, myGNC Rewards? How will it affect your supplement purchases?
Here are 5 fast facts you need to know about the new GNC.
5) Pricing Will Be Identical Across Stores and GNC.com, Regardless of your Membership
The biggest and most important change with GNC’s rebrand is that it’s dropping the “GNC membership” thing. Now, customers will see one consistent price in store and on GNC.com. Stores will no longer push Gold Card memberships onto customers, and you won’t have to do the math to determine if a Gold Card is worth it.
No longer will you see multiple pricing structures across various channels and membership levels. Instead, One New GNC will have one single price tag across its supplements. That pricing should be more consistent with the pricing from other brands. Approximately half of all GNC supplements are now available at lower prices than they were before.
4) GNC Is Struggling to Compete in a Mobile Marketplace
The major reason why GNC is introducing these changes is because the company was struggling to compete with some of its biggest rivals – like Costco and Amazon, which often offered cheaper prices on major brands.
We live in a world where customers can whip out their phones and check a rival’s price within 5 seconds while standing at a GNC store. If you see a price that’s $5 cheaper online through a competitor, then why would you buy from a GNC retail location?
In any case, GNC executives concluded they had a “badly broken business model” in need of a change. As evidence of that fact, GNC’s third quarter sales fell 8.1% to $628 million after declining sales in the United States and international markets. Over the past three years, total annual sales have stagnated at around $2.6 billion after increasing by nearly $600 million between 2011 and 2013 (as reported by Fortune.com).
Now, the new GNC won’t rely on old, complex pricing methods. Instead, they’ll use single, lower pricing more compatible with today’s mobile-focused shoppers.
3) GNC Closed 4400 Stores Across the United States to Implement the Changes
On Wednesday, December 28, GNC closed 4400 stores across the United States to overhaul its pricing system. The move had been announced two weeks ago.
The stores reopened on Thursday, December 29, after the new pricing system had been implemented.
According to a press release from the company, approximately half of all products sold by the company will be re-listed at a lower price than before, while one quarter of the prices will be higher (the remainder remain unchanged).
2) There’s a New GNC Mobile App
Part of the change involves introducing a new GNC mobile app. As you can see, GNC is clearly focused on attracting and retaining the mobile generation of consumers. One of the best ways to do that is to release a new mobile app.
The app was launched on the Google Play and iTunes app stores on December 28. You can download the GNC LiveWell app here for Android or iPhone.
The app encourages you to sign up for the My GNC Rewards program. You can use the app to check your points balance, redeem rewards, and check your rewards history. You can also shop for products and buy them entirely through the app. The app promises to be faster than the mobile-optimized GNC website.
1) How Does the New My GNC Rewards Program Work?
The My GNC Rewards program is GNC’s new loyalty program. Like most loyalty programs, it will reward customers who shop at GNC online or in-store. The more you spend, the more loyalty points you’ll earn.
One of the first things we know about the program is that there’s a 1 Million Point giveaway contest taking place throughout the month of January. Customers who enroll in the free My GNC Rewards program will gain an entry into the sweepstakes with every purchase from GNC.
All new customers who use the GNC Live Well app will also get 150 points for signing up. That’s enough points to redeem your first reward.
In addition, GNC retail outlets will be offering free samples and giveaways throughout the month of January, helping to generate hype for the new GNC.
Ultimately, this is the end of the GNC Gold Card program and “member pricing”. It means clearer, simpler pricing that’s more competitive with GNC’s biggest competitors – something we can all appreciate in the supplement industry.