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GNC plans to close up to 900 locations

The health and nutrition retailer gave an update to their plan originally announced in 2018 during a Monday morning investors call.

Health and nutrition store GNC plans to close up to 900 stores with most of the cuts coming to their mall locations. 

Back in November 2018, GNC announced they planned to close between 700 and 900 stores. On a call with investors Monday, GNC CEO Ken Martindale said the company will meet the higher end of their estimate. 

"It's likely that we will end up closer to the top end of our original optimization estimate of 700 to 900 store closures," Martindale said.

The call focused on decreased traffic at GNC's mall locations. GNC CFO Tricia Tolivar said out of GNC's 800 current mall locations, the company expects to keep 400 and 500 stores due to overall mall traffic deceleration. 

"As part of our work to optimize our store footprint, we're increasing our focus on mall locations," Martindale said. "And as you know, we have a great deal of flexibility to take further action here due to the short lease terms we have across our store portfolio."

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Of the 4,000 GNC retail locations 61% are in strip centers where as 28% are in malls. 

GNC is just the latest retailer to close stores. Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree and DressBarn are just a few of the companies closing a majority of their stores. A recent analysis from Business Insider found more than 7,500 retail stores plan to close in 2019.