For the first time in the retailer’s 44-year history, independent operators will have the chance to open The Vitamin Shoppe stores in their own communities via an omnichannel franchise model. Franchise partners will receive ongoing support from The Vitamin Shoppe for retail operations, supply chain, brand and product marketing, legal, real estate and digital integrations. Additionally, franchise partners will receive commissions for driving sales on the company’s centralized website and VShoppe app.
The Vitamin Shoppe currently owns and operates more than 680 locations across the U.S. Franchise stores will be identical in design to owned locations. The first franchised locations are expected to open later this year across the U.S., with the exceptions of Washington and Oregon where The Vitamin Shoppe operates stores under the Super Supplements banner.
“Now is an especially opportune time to partner with highly motivated entrepreneurs to expand our store fleet,” said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe in a statement. “This new growth strategy is a capital-efficient way to grow our retail footprint in a favorable real estate market, while empowering our franchise partners to create dynamic, locally owned businesses. With the events of the past year, consumers have become more invested in their health and well-being, as reflected in The Vitamin Shoppe’s performance.”
The introduction of franchise locations is the latest in a series of moves by the retailer to evolve its business and drive growth, including the debut of tech-enhanced “innovation stores”; the launch of dedicated CBD sections at more than 570 locations; a reimagining of the company’s Healthy Awards loyalty program; and partnerships with other wellness players such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
The Vitamin Shoppe also continues to expand internationally. The company operates in Asia, Central America and South America under license agreements with partners in those regions, and the company expects to announce additional similar partnerships in the coming months.