October 16, 2013, 10:14 AM

GNC buys U.K. web-only retailer Discount Supplements

A1 Sports Limited operates the sports nutrition retailer

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Health products retailer General Nutrition Centers Inc. announced the acquisition of A1 Sports Limited (dba Discount Supplements) of the United Kingdom. The web-only retailer’s flagship site, Discount-Supplements.co.uk, is expected to grow to over $32 million in revenue in 2013, GNC says. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This marks the second acquisition in the last two years for GNC, No. 152 in the Top 500 Guide, which purchased health and wellness products competitor LuckyVitamin.com in 2011. LuckyVitamin.com and Discount-Supplements.co.uk will continue to operate as separate ventures.

"Discount Supplements offers a broad selection of competitively priced proprietary and third-party products, and is a leader in the U.K.'s sports nutrition market,” says Joe Fortunato, chairman, president and CEO of GNC. He estimates the size of the market at 300 million pounds, and says it is growing by more than 10% a year. “The online channel has captured nearly one-third market share, and is growing faster than the market overall, Fortunato says"

A1 Sports began selling sports supplements on eBay and now has a staff of 40, according to the Discount Supplements web site.

GNC says the purchase of Discount Supplements will help expand the company’s global reach. “With this acquisition, we are well positioned to capitalize on the fastest-growing channel in Europe’s top market,” Fortunato says.

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