GNC will revamp its brick-and-mortar stores to make them into “home bases” where its tech-driven omnichannel experience will be launched. Each store will continue to operate in its traditional retail capacity but also will empower associates to enhance the digital experience through the introduction of a new selling tool and mobile POS system.
GNC has partnered with Salesfloor to bridge GNC.com with in-store associate coaching to create an omnichannel social selling experience. Digital shoppers will be able to speak with 100 of the retailer’s coaches, through real-time chat or video calls during which the associate will walk through a store to help the customer build a routine. From there, the entire transaction can be completed virtually.
Additionally, GNC will enhance the checkout process with a fully mobile POS system that will streamline curbside pickup, same-day delivery and online sales at GNC.com. The devices will be available in every GNC district to enable associates to sell beyond the store, including at external events.
“Our brick-and-mortar locations play a fundamental role in our business far beyond serving as a retail destination,” said Nate Frazier, COO at GNC in a statement. “The improvements we’ve made from a tech standpoint allow us to untether ourselves from the physical store to be more active in the community and sell outside of our four walls to capture consumer interest wherever they want to shop.”
Together, these upgrades will build on GNC’s existing ship-from-store and BOPIS programs to let its locations act as micro distribution centers, helping GNC lighten the load on its logistics and supply chain operations.
GNC also will continue expanding its physical footprint: several dozen stores already have opened in 2023, and 88 commitments and another 15 agreements are anticipated by the end of the year. The retailer also will open a flagship store in Pittsburgh, less than one mile from its global headquarters, that will feature approximately 2,400 square feet of retail space and serve as a hometown hub.
“We continue to recognize the importance of staying connected in our local communities, including our home base of Pittsburgh,” said Frazier. “The strategic expansion of our footprint, combined with innovative selling solutions and a strong field team, is allowing us to better service our consumers on their journey to Live Well.”
The updated approach to omnichannel retail will help GNC maintain its highly personalized approach to wellness. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution to any fitness regime, expanding the role coaches can play online will help ensure every customer gets the attention they need.
“Our enterprise tech stack is consumer-centric,” said Scott Saeger, CIO of GNC in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Everything that we do is to reduce friction and empower our customers to do what they need to do to live well. I keep kind of falling back on the tagline ‘Live Well’ because it’s really at the bullseye of everything that we do in our business as well as our technology. We know that in the health and wellness category, offering customized products to deliver holistic health solutions is paramount.”