GNC is getting a reboot after its Chapter 11 last year and acquisition by its largest investor, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group.
Harbin bought a major stake in GNC in 2018, helping to ease the company’s debt load, leftover in part from multiple private equity acquisitions during the 2000s. Last year, Harbin acquired full ownership of GNC while the retailer was in bankruptcy after no other qualified bidders stepped up.
The retailer started in 1935 as a single health food store, opened by David Shakarian in Pittsburgh and specializing in yogurt, which at the time was fairly new to American diets. Over the years it broadened its assortment of wellness products and opened thousands of stores under the General Nutrition Centers banner. It went public, was taken private, went public again, and then, in 2020, went bankrupt.Retail Dive