Though hundreds of GNC stores are closing after the company filed for bankruptcy this week, one location in Fairfield County is open and thriving - and has been for nearly a quarter of a century.
The GNC in the Riverside Commons Shopping Center on East Putnam Avenue in Greenwich will continue to stay open, serving the customers who have frequented it since 1997, franchise owner Michael Saluzzi wants the community to know.
Saluzzi opened his first GNC franchise in Brooklyn in 1992 before setting up shop in Fairfield County five years later, becoming a mainstay in the community.
The Riverside GNC is now the only locally owned and operated store in the entire state of Connecticut, Saluzzi said, with the rest either corporately owned or being targeted for closure amid the bankruptcy proceedings.
“I am happy to say that my business in Greenwich has been and will be successful going forward thanks in part from the support of the wonderful community,” Saluzzi said. “I would like to thank them for all their support over the years.
“As an essential business, my GNC in Greenwich has been open every day during the pandemic for in-store, as well as curbside sales,” he added. “We kept the store stocked with all the essentials that our customers needed, including the best immune system boosters.”
According to GNC, the company “has been executing a store portfolio optimization strategy to close underperforming stores, while continuing to invest in omnichannel and brand strategies to better meet consumer demand."
With GNC declaring for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it could provide an opportunity for the company moving forward, Saluzzi thinks.
“I feel it will be a positive initiative for the company as a whole to restructure and more than likely be sold,” he noted. “I feel GNC will be stronger in the long run.
“Online sales along with the pandemic have taken its toll on the company. As a franchise, I am a separate entity and will be going forward with business as usual. I also would like to welcome GNC customers that may be new to my store having come from another GNC.”
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