Franchise News Release: Pittsburgh, PA - (Jun-14-2001)

GNC Announces Pro Performer Award Finalists

General Nutrition Companies, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, today announced five finalists in the company's fifth annual Pro Performer Award.

The award recognizes four domestic and one international GNC Franchise store sales associates for exceptional customer service and contribution to the GNC franchise system. An overall winner will be announced at the company's 2001 International Franchise Convention in Orlando, Florida, June 15-21, 2001.

This year's finalists are: Laura Bangert, Lewiston, Idaho; Joe Bosco, Naperville, Illinois; Nitin Kaushik, Westford, Massachusetts; Suzette Steward, Rainbow City, Alabama and Mark Taylor, Australia. The five finalists, selected from 66 nominees, each receive an all-expenses paid trip to the convention. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000, and the four runners-up will take home $500.

Franchise store employees are nominated by GNC franchise operators based on exceptional customer service, product knowledge, commitment to GNC brands, and loyalty and dependability, among other attributes. GNC's regional franchise consultants review the nominations and select one semifinalist from each of GNC's 42 regions. A panel of GNC's senior management then selects the finalists.

Russell L. Cooper, GNC Franchising Senior Vice President and General Manager, said, "We are delighted to recognize the commitment and contributions that our franchise store sales associates make to our franchisees. The Pro Performer finalists exemplify the high level of customer service GNC stands for, and they deserve recognition for the example they set for all of us at GNC."

Scott Lehr, Vice President of Development and Marketing for the International Franchise Association said, "GNC's Pro Performer awards are unique in the franchising industry for offering cash bonuses to recognize exceptional performance of employees of franchisees. The awards are an important recognition of the vital role franchise stores play in American business."

It is the mission of GNC Franchising to be a worldwide leader in franchising by developing the world's highest quality support services and awarding license agreements to qualified candidates who share GNC's growth and customer service objectives. GNC Franchising was recently named by Entrepreneur magazine as the number one franchise in the vitamin and nutritional supplement sector for the 12th consecutive year and ranked among the top 10 best franchises in the world in the magazine's annual rankings. In the last year, the company's franchise base has grown by 93 stores, with more than 50% o Franchises awarded going to existing GNC franchisees.

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as many personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 4,500 retail outlets throughout the United States and 26 foreign markets including Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's family of companies includes Rexall Sundown, Inc., a major supplier to the mass market based in Boca Raton, Fla., sports nutrition leaders Met-Rx and Worldwide Nutrition and the multi-level marketing operation of Enrich International.


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