Gooch was previously VP, General Merchandise Manager at The Vitamin Shoppe. In this new position, Gooch will report to Andy Laudato, EVP, Chief Operating Officer, and will partner closely with Tom Merrihew, VP, General Manager of Private Brands, who still reports to Muriel Gonzalez, EVP, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer. Merrihew will maintain responsibility for driving industry-leading innovation and newness across the Private Brands offering.
New year, new role
In a nutshell, Gooch will be responsible for the operational, scientific and regulatory, and commercialization aspects of The Vitamin Shoppe’s Private Brands business.
Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, explained that this is a newly created role: “As we continue to build on our momentum into 2021, the leadership team identified key opportunities for growth and important ways to strengthen our organization. One of our top strategic priorities is accelerating the performance of our Private Brands business, which serves as a crucial differentiator in the marketplace and contributes substantially to our margin strength and profitability,” said Leite. “We are fortunate to have both Day Gooch and Tom Merrihew, two of our most experienced leaders, come together to build on our recent Private Brands achievements. The division developed and launched over 175 new SKUs in 2020 alone and we look forward to intensifying our focus on this business in collaboration with key strategic partners.”
As a licensed Doctor of Pharmacy with operational and merchandising expertise, Gooch will lead the sourcing of new manufacturers, strengthen execution with the company’s existing manufacturers, lead science and regulatory functions across both private brands and vendor brands, and re-engage with industry experts and associations within the industry. He will also work closely with the merchandising team, as well as inventory planning and supply chain, as The Vitamin Shoppe enhances product lifecycle management and sales & operations planning processes to improve innovation and speed to market.
After first debuting CBD products in 2019, The Vitamin Shoppe announced the launch of its CBD HQ in-store and online concept in August 2020. In November 2020, the retailer launched its first proprietary CBD hemp extract products under its Full Spectrum plnt and Broad Spectrum Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe Brands, marking the retailer’s continued expansion of its private brands portfolio in the CBD category. Most recently, The Vitamin Shoppe and WW International, Inc. collaborated on a variety of integrated offerings, such as co-branded nutritional supplements, select member-favorite WW snacks and protein boosters.
Building on success
Gooch previously spent four years in senior merchandising roles at The Vitamin Shoppe, leading both the Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements (VMS) division and the Sports Nutrition division as GMM, prior to which he led the VMS business for three years as VP, Divisional Merchandise Manager. Earlier in his career, Gooch held roles of increasing responsibility during 25 years at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, including Pharmacy District Manager; Senior Manager, Health & Wellness Recruiting; Senior Buyer, Health & Beauty Aids; and Senior Buyer, Health & Wellness.
Gooch told NutraIngredients-USA that he looks forward to the challenges that come along with this new opportunity.
“Intensifying innovation within the private brands business, as well as within the overall merchandise assortment, is central to The Vitamin Shoppe’s mission of being the industry-leading health and wellness retailer. One of my key goals is to help discover, develop, and bring to market the new ideas and products that are driving this industry forward. That’s an exciting opportunity for our private brands business, as well as a challenge. We need to execute with both quality and speed, while competing with many other brands and retailers to be our customers’ first choice for trusted, innovative wellness products,” explained Gooch. “I look forward to working with our manufacturers, partners, scientists, and the entire private brands team to continue building on this division’s current successes.”