|Traded as||NYSE: GNC|
|Headquarters||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Number of locations||7,334 (March 2011)|
Joseph Fortunato, CEOowner = Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Ares Management
|Revenue||$2.07 billion (2011)|
General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based American commercial enterprise focused on the retail sale of health and nutrition related products, including vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, diet, and energy products.
In 1935, David Shakarian opened a small health food store, Lackzoom, in downtown Pittsburgh. He only made USD $35 on his first day, but was able to open a second store within six months. A year later, Shakarian suffered from what appeared to be a fatal blow when the Ohio River flooded on St. Patrick's Day. Both of his stores were wiped out. However, he quickly rebuilt both stores, and opened five more by 1941. The company officially registered as a corporation on September 1, 1936 
During the health food craze of the 1960s, Shakarian expanded his chain outside Pittsburgh for the first time, and in the process changed its name to General Nutrition Center. He continued to run the chain until his death in 1984. Numico acquired GNC in 1999; it sold GNC to Apollo Management in 2003. Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Ares Management bought GNC in 2007. GNC went public in 2011.
Retail stores 
GNC stores typically stock a wide range of weight loss, bodybuilding, nutritional supplements, vitamins, natural remedies, and health and beauty products, in both its owned brands as well as third-party brands. The stores also sell health and fitness books and magazines.
GNC has over 6,000 stores in the U.S., including 1,100 store-within-a-store locations within Rite Aid, as well as locations in 49 other countries.In addition, GNC LiveWell currently has 41 Stores located in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne in Australia.
Business model 
GNC retail stores are both a combination of corporate-owned and franchised stores; 950 of the 5,000 domestic US stores are franchises, commonly located within urban shopping malls and shopping zones. In addition to the GNC.com website, GNC's products are sold on drugstore.com.
Awards & recognition 
Six formulas of GNC-branded multivitamins were tested by ConsumerLab.com in its Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review of 38 of the leading multivitamin/multimineral products sold in the U.S. and Canada. All six formulas passed ConsumerLab's test, which included testing of selected index elements, their ability to disintegrate in solution per United States Pharmacopeia guidelines, lead contamination threshold set in California Proposition 65, and meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements.
In 1998, GNC was accused of purposely running its franchisees out of business in order to "retake" the stores into corporate control. An April 30, 2003 article states that the GNC corporate company was sued by numerous franchise owners. The complaint is that the parent company was allowing their corporate owned stores to sell products for less than the franchise stores are allowed to sell them for. The suit also claimed that GNC charged high "reset fees" to franchisees when there is new signage that needs to be changed in the store or an image facelift that must be done by GNC corporate. A similar lawsuit was filed again in an article written on October 20, 2004.
- GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2011 Results
- "ConsumerLab Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review - Main Review". 15 June 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.(subscription required)
- "ConsumerLab Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review - Testing Method". 15 June 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- Franchisees On Edge; Some Angry Ones Sue As GNC Competes | NYTimes.com
- Franchisees sue GNC in New Jersey | American City Business Journals, Inc.
- GNC franchisees file lawsuit | American City Business Journals, Inc.