General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based American commercial enterprise focused on the retail sale of health and nutrition related products, including vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, diet & energy products. In 1935, David Shakarian opened a small health food store, Lackzoom, in downtown Pittsburgh. He only made USD $35 on his first day, but was able to open a second store within six months. A year later, Shakarian suffered from what appeared to be a fatal blow when the Ohio River flooded on St. Patrick's Day. Both of his stores were wiped out. However, he quickly rebuilt both stores, and opened five more by 1941. During the health food craze of the 1960s, Shakarian expanded his chain outside Pittsburgh for the first time, and in the process changed its name to General Nutrition Center. He continued to run the chain until his death in 1984. Numico acquired GNC in 1999; it sold GNC to Apollo Management in 2003.
Contributions by Ohnoitsjamie, Editor182, and Marketdiamond.