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GNC making push into mass market

Specialty retailer to launch diagnostic offerings

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CHICAGO — General Nutrition is looking to get into the health diagnostics business with Monday’s announcement of a licensing agreement with technology and consumer products manufacturer Sakar International on a line of more than two dozen branded health-and-wellness products.

The announcement comes on the heels of another distribution agreement brokered by GNC: distribution of its GNC-branded supplements through approximately 400 Sam’s Club locations.

"Until now, the GNC brand has been largely confined to our 7,100-plus GNC stores," stated Tom Dowd, EVP stores, operations and development for GNC. "This license reflects a strategic decision to leverage our strong brand recognition in order to provide consumers with health-and-wellness products offering GNC reliability regardless of where they are shopping."

"GNC is synonymous with health and wellness. It's a name that consumers trust," added Liza Abrams, Sakar VP licensing. "Partnering with GNC gives us an opportunity to join that circle of trust with a suite of products that helps people both monitor and improve their own health profiles."

The line's initial merchandise offerings will range from heart-rate and blood-pressure monitors to weight scales, exercise accessories and electronic pill boxes that will be distributed through drug stores, home stores, supermarkets, mass market retailers and other locations in addition to GNC stores.

The first SKUs are scheduled to hit store shelves in the fourth quarter.

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