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Vitamin Shoppe Franchising Opens For First Time

Vitamin Shoppe Franchising Opens For First Time

Vitamin Shoppe Franchising
Corporate siblings Liberty Tax, American Freight and Pet Supplies Plus entice entrepreneurs to buy their own stores. Perhaps Vitamin Shoppe can do the same with a new franchising program.

The Vitamin Shoppe has announced a new franchising program. For the first time in the 44-year history of the company, anyone who pays a $40,000 franchising fee, has $200,000 minimum liquidity available, has $750,000 minimum net worth and passes through an application process will be able to own an outpost of the chain.

Founded in 1977 with a single store in New York City, the Vitamin Shoppe sells an array of vitamins and supplements, nutrition drinks and classic giant canisters of whey. The company went through a growth spurt in the 21st century, growing from 38 stores in 1998 to more than 680 today. A franchise model may have been inevitable when Liberty Tax purchased the company in 2019.

Yes, that’s Liberty Tax, the income tax preparation service that has the people dressed as the Statue of Liberty waving around foam-rubber giant novelty cash stacks next to high-traffic intersections every March and April. Shortly afterward its purchase of the Vitamin Shoppe, Liberty Tax begat a parent company called the Franchise Group, which acquired Buddy’s Home Furnishings, American Freight and Pet Supplies Plus.

What these businesses had in common was they: a) took to small-ish suburban strip mall spaces and b), excluding the Vitamin Shoppe, franchised their businesses out, allowing people to purchase a proven name and business strategy, providing they passed an application process that looked at their financials and such.

The Vitamin Shoppe will join its corporate siblings in the franchising practice — at an interesting time. Though vitamins and supplements make up a growing $36.6 billion market, the Vitamin Shoppe’s revenue has been slipping by about 5 percent per year, mostly due to declines in brick-and-mortar retail as retailers lean towards the online competition. About 100 Vitamin Shoppes have closed since 2017.

The Vitamin Shoppe’s website has taken an increasing share of company sales. According to a report from Bloomberg Second Measure, in the second quarter of 2020, 32 percent of the company’s sales came from online transactions, compared to 15 percent in 2019. No doubt, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail played a role.

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So, from a Vitamin Shoppe franchising point of view, it would be a less-than-ideal point in the company’s history to set up a Vitamin Shoppe in their town’s plaza.

The Vitamin Shoppe supposedly has a fix for this. According to a company press release, a “unique franchise model rewards franchise partners for driving and VShoppe app sales, via a commission structure that creates a seamless omnichannel experience for both franchisees and their customers.”

To learn more on that or other aspects of owning a Vitamin Shoppe, go the company’s new franchising website,

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