GNC files for bankruptcy, will close up to 1,200 stores

This is the sign outside the world headquarters of GNC in downtown Pittsburgh in this 2019 file photo. The company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar/file)

(CNN) - (CNN) - GNC has filed for bankruptcy and will close up to 1,200 stores.

The 85-year-old vitamin and dietary supplement company has been saddled with nearly a $1 billion of debt.

GNC has faced declining sales at its brick-and-mortar locations since before the pandemic. However, GNC said that stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic had a “dramatic negative impact” on its business.

GNC will continue operating, but after closing 20 percent of its retail stores, it will become a smaller company.

The company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in the fall.

GNC has a current list of underperforming stores slated to close, many of which had been previously announced.

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