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GNC store closings Andrew Burton/Getty Images

GNC Closing 200 Stores as Vitamin Retailer Slims Its Operations

Like other retailers, Pittsburgh-based GNC has been struggling with a large brick-and-mortar footprint and competition from online sellers.

(Bloomberg)—GNC Holdings Inc. said it will close 200 stores this year as the vitamin retail company cuts costs and grapples with more than $1 billion in debt.

Like other retailers, Pittsburgh-based GNC has been struggling with a large brick-and-mortar footprint and competition from online sellers. It operates or oversees 8,905 stores, including 3,385 in the U.S. Sales at U.S. locations that have been open for at least a year were down 1.9 percent in the first quarter, GNC said in a statement.

Along with cutting costs, GNC has also taken steps to restructure its debt. In February it announced a $300 million investment from Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co. to expand its Chinese operations, which it said it would use to repay outstanding debt. It also said it would amend the terms and extended the maturity on a term loan due in March 2019.

The retailer’s shares fell 1.4 percent to $3.81 at 3:18 p.m. in New York. In August, the stock was trading as high as $10.95.

To contact the reporter on this story: Drew Armstrong in New York at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at [email protected] Timothy Annett

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