Vitamin Shoppe jumps on the intent trend of opening up an online community, in which it engages in a dialog and interacts with customers and prospects. The retailer, based in North Bergen, NJ, is providing message boards, expert leaders, and an abundance of health, wellness, and sports nutrition advice, and access is free.
"The online community is a natural extension of the conversations that happen in our stores everyday," said Lou Weiss, VP and general manager of Vitamin Shoppe Direct. "Our members are coming together in this community to not only share their experiences, but also to get the unparalleled knowledge and advice that Vitamin Shoppe is known for."
"Since the boards launched in early August, topics that have been discussed include nutrition, dieting, health conditions, bodybuilding, and vitamins," added Weiss. "New topics are springing up every minute."
The Vitamin Shoppe online community also has a variety of experts on the boards who not only host discussions, but can also answer specific questions. Experts include Dave Foreman, herbal pharmacist; Christiane Rivard, registered dietitian; and Dave Hawk, former Mr. USA and Mr. World and a personal trainer and adviser to NFL, NHL, WWE and NASCAR athletes. Additional guest experts will also be added to the message boards.
The community forum also allows members to develop specific profiles about their workout, diet, and supplementation practices. They can track their progress in an online journal and share that with the community or just with friends. They can participate in discussions from topics as diverse as losing weight to bodybuilding to nutrition, to various health conditions.
"This is a great part of the solution for people looking to reach their health and fitness goals and share that success with others," said Weiss. "When faced with dieting or health conditions, people like to connect with others who have been there and can offer their support and guidance. Our online community is just one more way that The Vitamin Shoppe helps our customers achieve their health and wellness goals."
The message boards can be accessed at www.vsconnect.com or from direct links from www.vitaminshoppe.com, and www.bodytech.com.
Vitamin Shoppe is a specialty retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products. It sells vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, herbs, sports nutrition formulas, homeopathic remedies, and other health and beauty aids.
It carries national brand products, as well as those under Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, MD Select, and VS Basics proprietary brands. It operates more than 360 company owned retail stores, national mail order catalogs, and two websites.
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