NUTRISHOP® Shares Insight on the State of Brick-and-Mortar Retail a Year Into the COVID-19 Pandemic

NUTRISHOP® Shares Insight on the State of Brick-and-Mortar Retail a Year Into the COVID-19 Pandemic

Some may say, 'Retail is dead,' due to e-commerce and the pandemic, but is it really?
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HENDERSON, Nev., April 21, 2021 - The state of retail these days may seem bleak as hundreds of businesses, some very well known, either filed for bankruptcy or closed their doors for good in 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic has been blamed for shuttering many traditional brick-and-mortar retail locations, some would say in-store shopping has slowly nose-dived since e-commerce hit the scene. According to Digital Commerce 360, e-commerce in the United States soared to the highest level ever recorded as consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020. But, to assume retail is dead might be a mistake, especially considering that even though online purchasing jumped, it only made up 21.3% of the $4.04 trillion total retail-spending pie (January 2021). The rest was spent in-store and a number of NUTRISHOP® locations got a piece of that pie.

'We had a number of Nutrishop franchisees tell us they had a phenomenal 2020, despite the closures, the pandemic and the potential threat of e-commerce. And it's continuing into 2021. In fact, in March, the common theme we heard from various owners was, 'I'm having my best month, ever!'' said Nutrishop Founder and CEO Bryon McLendon, who opened his first nutritional supplement store in 1997 and grew it to five locations in two years before founding Nutrishop in 2003. 'These stores not only pivoted and adapted during the pandemic to offer new services, but they never let their foot off the gas and they never forgot their number one reason for being in this business: helping customers achieve their health and fitness goals and change their lives for the better.'

People say, 'Service is king,' and service is indeed what Nutrishop franchisees are all about. Nutrishop stores across the United States offer so much more than just top quality dietary and nutritional supplements at guaranteed low prices, they provide personable/customizable services like meal planning, nutritional coaching, supplement education, body composition analysis, transformation challenges, corporate wellness events, and more.

'Service, relationships and value have always been the cornerstones of how we do business,' said Rick Rodriguez, who has been a Nutrishop franchisee in Southern California for 19 years and just experienced his best sales month in the history of being in this business at his Glendora, Calif. store. 'If these are not an integral part of a retail store's DNA, then yes, it will die.'

Evan Eaton, who opened Nutrishop Boca Raton, Florida 10 years ago, would agree, particularly because the service Nutrishop offers gets customers real results they may not get from ordering supplements online.

'Service, accountability, knowledge, care - that's what we offer,' Eaton said. 'Consumers can't get that online. They can't build relationships, have someone in their corner rooting for them, do a transformation contest and change their lives by shopping online. We are problem solvers. People need problem solvers.'

Eaton experienced a drop-off in in-store traffic during the pandemic when gyms and other businesses in his retail center had to close. But he began offering curbside pickup and free delivery and ramped up his social media marketing and online presence, which helped him stay in business and maintain customer retention. In fact, he experienced record-breaking sales in January 2021, which were higher than the previous year with 200 less people in the door, he said.

'It's so incredible to hear from our owners that growth in this COVID retail environment is very achievable, especially for those who continue to aggressively pour into their business daily, are relentless with their outside marketing efforts and are making a difference in each and every one of their customers' lives,' said Brian Barthelmess, Nutrishop Chief Operations Officer. 'We hope this is a record-breaking year for all of our franchisees.'

Mike DeCardenas, franchisee of Nutrishop Alliance in Ft. Worth, Texas, is another owner who is breaking records in 2021. When he launched his store's first transformation challenge of the year in January, they had a record-breaking 507 people sign up, up 49% from the last largest turnout for a transformation challenge. DeCardenas said they nearly doubled the store's record sales for a Transformation Challenge launch event and they also broke their weekly sales record in the first seven days of the challenge. In March, he crushed his sales record again. What are his secrets to success in a time when others may be thinking retail is dead?

'We give people a reason to come into the store and then we provide as much value as possible to those who take the time to drive to our store,' DeCardenas said. 'We create an environment and an experience that make people want to come in again or tell their friends about it. And, we create and build lasting relationships with our customers. But most importantly, we help them get results.'

To anyone who may be considering opening a Nutrishop store of their own but are still fearful of competing with e-commerce, Rodriguez, DeCardenas and Eaton said don't fret. Not only do Nutrishop franchisees have the ability to conduct e-commerce business, which is handled by corporate on their behalf, but as Rodriguez said, 'Nutrishop has a proven, successful system that just works. If you have the desire to help people get healthy and in the best shape of their lives, Nutrishop is the only partner you need.'

Since 2003, Nutrishop has helped countless individuals live a fit, healthy, happy lifestyle. Nutrishop stores offer customers a low-price guarantee on a wide array of cutting-edge dietary supplements along with exceptional, individualized customer service, easy-to-follow meal plans, body composition assessment tools, and sound nutritional guidance. The Nutrishop business model focuses primarily on franchisee-owned and operated stores that provide consumers with the tools required to achieve their health and fitness goals. For more information, visit and follow on Instagram @NutrishopUSA.

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LaRue Gillespie