Supplement retailer bets on shop-within-a-gym concept

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - CandyRetriever
©Getty Images - CandyRetriever

Related tags Sports nutrition sector Sports nutrition products

Longtime sports nutrition retailer Nutrishop has launched a new for the company concept with a ‘pro shop’ located within a 24-Hour Fitness location.

CEO Bryon McLendon said the new concept, which debuted recently in Sacramento, CA, will build on the 17-year-old company’s core competency, which is focus on the customer.

“Our in-store experience is very consultative, unique and custom for everyone.  . . . That means we take the time to educate each customer and make sure they are as confident in their nutrition program as we are. This has ultimately helped build our solid reputation over the last 17+ years and keeps customers coming back to this day,”​ McLendon told NutraIngredients-USA.

First of a new line of ‘pro shops’

Nutrishop has more than 100 franchise locations in 23 states. The new store, founded by longtime franchisee Jake Halvig, is the first in partnership with a gym operator, McLendon said.

“This flagship location is important as it will provide key learnings about the customer experience – building product familiarity, education and more – that will influence future Nutrishop Pro Shop locations,”​ McLendon said.

In addition to having a focused consumer group close to hand, McLendon said opening in a 24 Hour location may also be less expensive for franchisees than operating from a strip mall, depending on build-out requirements. 

McLendon said the company’s track record of success, which also comes from direct to consumer online sales, rests on a commitment to low prices and high quality.

Our customer retention percentage for our online sales is currently at 88%. If we were to use smoke-and-mirrors marketing and unsubstantiated claims and the product didn’t deliver, that customer would be gone forever. Now, if a product is developed properly and it does what it is supposed to do for a customer, they will continue to buy that product. It’s very simple,” ​he said.

Nutrishop offers a variety of general health supplements, weight management products and sports nutrition formulas.  The company recently announced the launch of a gut health formula, based on a suite of botanicals and probiotics, and a new essential amino acids beverage mix.

CEO: Influencers don’t cover for poorly performing products

McLendon said there’s no secret formula to success in the sports nutrition and general health and wellness spheres.  Despite the current love affair with influencer marketing, it won’t replace the basic tenet that a company needs to deliver on the value proposition when customers use the products.

“So many new brands launch online and many of them quickly fail. We see this on a very regular basis. I remember seeing new companies surface years ago when we attended fitness expos like the Mr. Olympia Expo or the Arnold Sports Festival. We’d see these new companies emerge, spend so much money on gigantic booths (which I’m sure temporarily fed their egos), but then 12-18 months later, they went out of business. Simply put, they either produced poor products or lacked distribution or both. This happens all the time, except now they’re blindly spending insane amounts of money on influencers and affiliate marketing instead of expo booths,”​ he said.

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