GNC Names Kaplan President; Will Also Lead Marketing

Retailer to Go After Women, Expand Product Offerings

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Retail marketing vet Beth J. Kaplan has been chosen to lead marketing and merchandising efforts for health-store chain General Nutrition Centers.

In her new role as president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Pittsburgh-based GNC, Ms. Kaplan, 49, will help the "Live Well" brand better target its line of nutritional supplements and energy products to women. She will report to GNC CEO Joe Fortunato.

GNC has a franchise presence in 48 markets globally and shy of 5,000 retail locations in the U.S.

"Moving forward, my focus will be on brand-building initiatives that broaden our relationship with our customers, particularly women, while expanding our product offerings," Ms. Kaplan said in a statement.

Ms. Kaplan has had a relationship with GNC since the late '90s, when she served as senior exec VP-marketing and merchandising at Rite Aid. While there, she forged the pharmacy chain's strategic alliance with GNC, which now has over 1,200 Rite Aid "store-within-a-store" locations.

She started her career at Proctor & Gamble Co., eventually serving as president of its Noxell cosmetics and fragrances unit, and did a stint at Limited Brands, as an exec VP-general manager helping to expand the Bath & Body Works brand. Most recently, Ms. Kaplan co-founded the venture capital firm Axcel Partners, investing in early-stage consumer goods and retail companies.
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