FINANCE

GNC debuts new prototype with expanded product lineup

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh GNC on Tuesday unveiled a new prototype that seeks to transform its brand from a destination center for weight loss diet aids and sports nutrition items into a premier health-and-wellness resource for the entire family. The chain said it plans to roll out the new concept in other locations throughout the United States.

The new 3,000-sq.-ft. location, at Pittsburgh’s Ross Park Mall, was developed with the assistance of Peter Arnell and his firm Arnell. The contemporary-looking store is designed as a one-stop shopping experience for consumers seeking not only innovative, high-quality fitness and nutritional supplements, but also natural, alternative treatments for holistic wellness. It offers nearly triple the number of products available in today’s GNC stores, with 1,000 new items.

“GNC is launching an entirely new retail experience that will solidly position our brand and stores as the premier resource for a world class offering of health-and-wellness products for every member of the family,” stated Joseph Fortunato, CEO of GNC. “The new concept store focuses on improving the quality of life for our customers by inspiring healthy and active lifestyles through not only innovative fitness and nutritional supplements, but also a wider assortment of natural and alternative treatments for holistic wellness. Consumers will find products they haven’t typically discovered in a GNC.”

The store is divided into four individual sections that showcase distinct product categories. The front space underscores GNC’s increased emphasis on healthy lifestyle management and provides customers with tools to address health, diet and overall well-being. It features products focused on cleansing and detoxifying, weight management, nutrition, fit and active accessories and women’s wellness, as well as new categories such as yoga, expanded proteins, meal replacements and portion control.

The second space is the store’s vitamin headquarters, and also showcases new health and beauty offerings.

The back two spaces are designed for GNC’s avid fitness and sports enthusiasts, with greatly expanded product assortments that take the category beyond the body builder. One distinct space targets sports, fitness and hardcore diet consumers with proteins, thermogenics, fitness accessories, nutritional bars, endurance products and drinks. The other is designed for the hardcore body-building customer.

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Walmart brings back $10 toys

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart announced that it is bringing back its $10 toys section in all stores and expanding its $10 holiday assortment this year to more than 100 toys.

According to the company, the $10 toys assortment is the first of several programs Walmart will announce this holiday season to bring 12 weeks of added savings in a year that has been increasingly tough on consumer wallets.

 

“With the popularity of our ’10 for $10′ toy program last October, we knew it was important for customers that we bring it back and offer an even greater amount of $10 toys this year,” said Laura Phillips, chief toy officer and VP toys for Walmart. “We began working months ago to ensure we could also introduce many toys at just $10 for this holiday program, as well as roll back prices at a time when our customers were ready to make purchases.”

 

Toys in the $10 assortment include Transformers Action Figures, board games and Play-Doh.

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ECRM names new VP general merchandise

BY CSA STAFF

CLEVELAND, Ohio ECRM has named Cheryl Gherlone VP general merchandise. Gherlone joined the ECRM team in June of 2009, assisting with various sales related responsibilities and researching potential new events. In her new position, Gherlone will work jointly with Paul Wendling of ECRM. This organizational change will become effective on Oct. 1.

Prior to joining ECRM, Gherlone held the position of marketing manager for Longs Drug Stores, with responsibility for general merchandise including stationery, electronics, housewares, hardware, automotive, soft goods as well as liquor & beverages.

 

“With such a solid background, Cheryl will be an exceptional complement to ECRM and the GM category. We look forward to her expertise to lead the advancement of this important category. Her leadership will strengthen our ability to improve existing GM shows and expand show offerings in 2010,” said Charlie Bowlus, CEO of ECRM.

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