GNC to close as many as 900 stores over the next 18 months

    The latest victim of the so-called “retail apocalypse” is health and nutrition chain GNC, which plans, according to Business Insider, to close up to 900 stores by the end of 2020.

    Mall traffic has decelerated and isn’t showing any signs of rebounding, GNC CEO Ken Martindale told investors Monday, saying the company plans to depart malls as leases expire. Currently, mall locations make up 28% of GNC’s stores.

    The company has 17 stores in the Capitol Region, and more than 20 stores in the New Orleans metro area. 

    “I think it could be likely that we’ll reduce our mall count by a nearly half,” Martindale said. “So we’ve got a little over 800 malls today and over the long-term, we could bring that closer to 400 to 500.” 

    GNC’s planned store closures are among the more than 7,500 announced by retailers so far in 2019. Payless, Dress Barn and Gymboree each plan to close hundreds of stores this year.

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