GNC’s Green Turn 


General Nutrition Centers has dramatically reduced its energy consumption while improving store aesthetics by switching to LED lamps. The chain is in the final stages of completing a retrofit of some 2,700 company-owned North American stores. 


GNC has employed a variety of lighting technologies over the years, always keeping energy consumption in mind. But it came to a point where the chain wanted an even more energy-efficient turnkey solution, one that would reduce costs and add to store appearance. 


GNC’s longtime lamp distribution partner, City Lighting Products, had previously introduced LEDs to the retailer, but the cost of the technology was too great a barrier to make the upgrade. When Osram Sylvania introduced its LED retrofit lamp (the ULTRA High Performance Series), GNC realized the advantages from both an environmental and total cost of ownership angle.


“It took three years for the product technology and cost to match GNC’s quality needs and budget requirements,” said Chris Schmalzried, City Lighting VP and general manager.


GNC subsequently initiated the retrofit, installing Sylvania’s PAR 30 LED retrofit lamps in its storefront windows, interior track lighting and downlighting. Previously, the stores used 75 W halogen PAR lamp. 


Using only 15W and with a color temperature of 3000k and a CRI of 90, the 15W Sylvania retrofit LED lamps are not only energy efficient, but provide vibrant illumination for GNC’s in-store displays and colorful packaging. 


To date, 45,000 of the LED lamps have been distributed to GNC stores nationwide. The technology has reduced GNC’s lighting-related energy consumption by more than 50% per store. It’s estimated that the retailer will receive a full return on its LED relamping program investment in less than one year, and will save approximately $1.1 million annually. Annual energy savings are put at 10.2 million kWh, with environmental savings of 15.6 million lbs. of CO2.


mwilson@chainstoreage.com