The Vitamin Shoppe has unveiled its Launchpad vendor incubation program, designed to introduce emerging brands and innovative products to Vitamin Shoppe customers.The retailer is currently accepting submissions from nutritional supplement, natural health and organic beauty vendors.
With the incubator, Vitamin Shoppe seeks to provide new brand partners with expertise and infrastructure through both online and in-store distribution channels. The retailer has a history of taking a chance on smaller, unknown brands such as Garden of Life, NeoCell and No Cow, all of which now have a large presence within the company’s retail channels.
The initiative comes one week after Vitamin Shoppe named former Godiva executive Sharon Leite as its next CEO.
“We strive to bring only the best products to market and pride ourselves on our ability to identify brands that have the potential to become market leaders,” said Dave Mock, EVP, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer at The Vitamin Shoppe in a statement. “As a trusted specialty wellness retailer, not only do we strive to bring the most innovative solutions to our customers but also provide guidance, resources and support that will help empower our vendor partners to create quality supplements customers can trust.”
More retailers are turning to incubators to generate novel ideas for technologies and products. Target recently launched its third annual Target + Techstars accelerator program, which invites 10 retail-specific startups to train and learn under a three-month mentorship. The program gives startups a chance to pitch their own ideas, meet potential investors and gain exposure to a wider audience. Additionally, Target learns more about how different technologies can improve the retail experience.
Earlier in 2018, Perry Ellis International held its first technology pitch-off to work with new tech startups. Upon selecting nine startups, the apparel giant sought to gather new ideas for its retail operations, with a particular focus on increasing brand awareness, boosting e-Commerce sales and creating better brick-and-mortar experiences.