The retailer also is expanding e-commerce offerings amid bankruptcy.
The bell is tolling for hundreds of stores operated GNC Holdings Inc., as the retailer of health and wellness products this week filed for bankruptcy protection and seeks new stability.
That future could come via a sale of the business or a restricting of the retailer’s balance sheet.
The plan outlined this week calls for the chain “to accelerate the closure of at least 800 to 1,200 stores,” the company 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 has filed a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware and can continue to operate via stores that remain open and its e-commerce site. The retailer is struggling to keep up with debt, a situation made worse by the pandemic, and is moving toward a court-supervised sale of the business, with an initial bidding price of $760 million.
“With the support of its lenders and key stakeholders, the company expects to confirm a standalone plan of reorganization or consummate a sale that will enable the business to exit from this process in the fall of this year,” GNC said. “GNC's largest vendor and a joint venture partner, IVC, is working with the company to ensure a continued supply of products to the company and advance the proposed sale of GNC's business.”
GNC also said it has “secured approximately $130 million in additional liquidity.”
Amid all this, GNC plans to expand tools available to shoppers, especially those who buy the retailer’s products online. “The company will be launching the option to buy-online-pick-up-in-store later this year and has a robust innovation pipeline of ingredients and products to bring to market over the next three years,” GNC said.