Beth Kaplan tapped to head up GNC

PITTSBURGH GNC named Beth Kaplan, one-time Rite Aid senior executive vice president, its president, chief merchandising and marketing officer. Kaplan was one of the original engineers of the relationship between Rite Aid and GNC.

Kaplan will report directly to chief executive officer Joe Fortunato.

“As president, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Beth will focus on key strategic initiatives relating to the merchandising of our stores, marketing of the GNC Brand and product development,” Fortunato stated. “Beth’s enormous depth of experience in merchandising and marketing will help GNC to further build on its strong financial performance to date.”

“This is a great time to join GNC,” Kaplan said. “Joe Fortunato and his senior management team have done a wonderful job expanding GNC’s franchise as the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional supplements. Moving forward, my focus will be on brand-building initiatives that broaden our relationship with our customers, particularly women, while expanding our product offerings.”

Her relationship with GNC and its product strategy goes back to her tenure, in the late 1990s, as senior executive vice president, marketing and merchandising for Rite Aid, where she was responsible for overall corporate marketing and merchandising. In that role, she developed and negotiated Rite Aid’s strategic alliance with GNC, which is forecasted to grow to 2,500 GNC stores within Rite Aid stores.

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