The Vitamin Shoppe is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, offering a broad line of VMS products at substantial discounts to list prices.
In May 1997, FdG recapitalized The Vitamin Shoppe in a transaction that was structured to allow the Company’s founder and CEO to achieve significant liquidity, maintain a substantial equity stake in the business and remain the Company’s chief executive to lead its expansion strategy. At the time of the transaction, the Company operated 18 retail stores in the New York metropolitan area and a national catalog business with over 200,000 active customers. The Company marketed all of the major national brands as well as its own “The Vitamin Shoppe” brand products at significant discounts to suggested retail pricing.
Immediately following the recapitalization, The Vitamin Shoppe launched an aggressive retail expansion with increased new store openings in the greater New York area and entry into other metropolitan markets in the eastern United States. The Company then implemented a new enterprise-wide information system, developed a new warehouse/distribution/corporate office facility and expanded its store opening strategy to a national scale. In addition, The Vitamin Shoppe continued to grow and refine its direct marketing strategy through its catalog operations and added a third channel with the launch of its Internet site making the Vitamin Shoppe a leading triple-channel retailer and direct marketer of vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements.
After more than five years of dramatic growth, The Vitamin Shoppe was purchased by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking in November 2002 in a recapitalization transaction in which the Company’s management shareholders again participated. FdG retained a minority equity stake.