Posted by Ryan Powers

GNC Closes It's Doors

The Upside to Online Supplement Shopping

Ryan Powers

Entrepreneur, Fitness Enthusiast, Strength Coach

First off, let me say that as a business owner and entrepreneur myself - I am not the least bit happy to see thousands of GNC locations close their doors. Franchise owners & small businesses alike losing their livelihood is a tough shift in the industry to watch. 

The reality is that this shift has been coming for quite some time now. GNC stores all over the nation purchase through distributors. These distributors house the pre-inventory and ship direct to the stores. The challenge became evident with the rise of large online shopping that forced pricing and value to no longer match what was found in your local GNC shop. Thus, corporate was fighting a losing battle. What made matters worse was in an attempt to respond and adjust for this change - they forced stores and franchises to adopt to the "one low price" model, which sounds great in theory, but in the middle of a fiscal year cutting profit margins on all products across the board makes for tough waves and a unstable financial situation. 

GNC

If you we were paying attention, the inevitable seemed pretty obvious to most. What's sad to see here, is I am not sure the better man won. You see there is this large online market that has lots of good going on with it, but even more bad and counterfeit happening. Giant online retailers like Amazon have shifted how we all do business, but don't seem to be holding themselves too accountable on how they are conducting commerce. Are they doing their part to keep keep a fair, safe, level playing field for the safety of the consumer? Is what your buying off Amazon really what it says it is?

In this article, we are going to show you the upsides of buying online supplements - responsibly that is. 

COST & VALUE

As we previously indicated finding low cost supplements online takes no time. In fact, you can find dirt cheap supplements with no research, talent, or previous knowledge of what to even look for. But is that ultimately what you want? For example, there are a handful of big well known brands (with household names) who will send you a 2 lb bottle of WHEY Protein direct to your house for less than $25 - sounds great right? Well have you ever taken the time to look at how many grams of actual protein is listed on this 2 lb bottle? Less than 440 grams you say? So what's the other half in that 2 lbs of weight? 

This is exactly why we separate cost vs value. Cost is what you pay. Value is what you get. Look for reputable brands with outstanding track records (google them). Look for brands that have the certifications and education to back up their claims. Well known brands don't always equate to ethical responsible companies. Look at what's listed and take note of what's NOT listed. Which is just as important. I don't know about you, but I will take more quality and value over dirt, cheap products any day. 


RESEARCH & COMPARE

You have more reachable information today right at your fingertips today then any previous generation before you. You have to remember stores like Blockbuster & GNC started prior to the internet age and online research wasn't even a thing. There was little to no accessible public knowledge or educational resources to learn from in the health & fitness world. We were reliant on bias opinions of untrained and uneducated employees telling us what to take and what to pay. The internet changed that. 

We now can form our own opinions, do our own research, and begin trusting brands we believe are trying to make positive change in health & fitness. 

***BONUS*** 

Some brands are continually trying to be thought leaders in the industry for consumer education and have hired online coaches and subject matter experts to aid in this cause. They will provide free consultative services, and provide curated content and products that are known and proven to work! These brands are making the extra effort to create an online experience you can trust. 


CONVENIENCE

Shopping and having your items shipped directly to your door is certainly more convenient the waiting in traffic and driving to a strip mall. Frankly, I really expected GNC to adapt to this change and offer free at home shipping. Utilize their established customer base to host workshops and in-store events. Nurture their local following with value added content, giveaways, and new product showcases. Understandably though, this takes time, talent, and dough.  It's worth noting that there is a reason I listed convenience 3rd down the list. Convenience should never prioritize over value & quality. I'm not the one to grab some random bottle with a pretty label off the shelf of a convenience store just because it's close to me and easy. Neither should you. Consider that these large big box convenience and grocery stores force even the best brands to create a product that has moved away from the intentions of the product to begin with, all to sell more. The products are often reformulated, diluted, and cut to make shared margins for maximum product velocity. 


SUBSCRIBE & SAVE

One of the best inventions since sliced bread is subscribe and save. Ah yes, we all know we just want our favorite products to arrive at our doorstep within just a few days of finishing up the last bit of the previous bottle. It's one of digital life's simple pleasures. With this simple feature, you no longer have to drive to your local store and pick up your favorite supplements. They are just saved, shipped, and managed all from a touch of a button. We just ask that you refer to the above previous suggestions before locking in a product on auto-shipping. 



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