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Vitamins-and-supplements retailer GNC reportedly has signed a distribution deal with Walmart that will put a range of GNC-branded vitamins into more than 4,000 Walmart stores, with the goal being to expand the presence to additional sports nutrition and weight-management products.

“Millions know and trust our brand, and with this collaboration we can deliver the GNC experience to a whole new group of consumers,” Josh Burris, CEO of GNC, said in a prepared statement.  “The future of the wellness industry has a place for everyone, and GNC is making a healthy lifestyle more accessible than ever by delivering quality products to consumers via Walmart’s expansive network of stores.”

There is no word about whether the new Walmart deal affects an existing relationship that GNC has with Rite Aid.

GNC has gone through a bankruptcy, a rash of store closings, and a sale of the company to a China-based Harbin Pharmaceutical Group.

KC's View:

It may be that smaller retailers that traditionally have had a physical presence are going to have to find a new way to reach shoppers in a bricks-and-mortar environment.  Selling products through other, bigger stores is one way toi do that, whether it means being in mainline shelf sets or having targeted boutiques where it makes sense.

Probably going to see a lot more of this.