Rite Aid drugstore chain joins forces with GNC

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Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill, Pa., and General Nutrition Cos., Pittsburgh, are joining forces in projects that will generate about $40 million in ad support. Full-line GNC stores will open inside 1,500 Rite Aid drugstores in the next three years. Also, GNC will manufacture and both companies will jointly market a new line of PharmAssure vitamins and nutritional supplements, backed by more than $30 million in advertising during the first year. In addition, GNC will become the exclusive manufacturer of Rite Aid's private-label vitamins and nutritional supplements. The two companies also will introduce a co-branded Internet e-commerce and nutritional information site. Rite Aid and GNC made a $9 million advertising and marketing commitment to the new "nutrition Web site." The companies will go outside their current agency rosters for a shop to handle advertising for the joint projects. Marc USA, Pittsburgh, is Rite Aid's general agency, and DeWitt Media, New York, handles media buying; Deutsch, New York, handles GNC.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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