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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The franchiser for General Nutrition Companies Inc. closed the doors Friday at its shops on U.S. military bases in Japan and Okinawa.

GNC stores at bases in South Korea and Guam, meanwhile, are expected to stay in business for the time being.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials said the Japan and Okinawa stores were operated by a franchisee named USB, a firm from Singapore.

USB gave AAFES notice it was terminating its contract, “citing financial concerns that made the operation no longer viable,” said Anna C. Iosefo, AAFES Misawa Exchange general manager, in a written response to questions.

In mainland Japan, GNC had stores at Misawa Air Base, Yokota Air Base, and Camp Zama, and at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

AAFES officials said their stores will continue to carry some GNC products.

At Misawa, for example, the base exchange is expected to sell 34 GNC best-sellers, including GNC Proform Weight Gainer, GNC Proform Whey, GNC Shaker, and GNC 50 Gram Slam, Iosefo said.

The AAFES exchange mall online also carries some nutritional supplements unavailable in stores, officials said.

GNC at most bases will be replaced by an Awards, Souvenirs and Gift Shop.

According to its Web site, GNC is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products, including vitamin, mineral, herbal and other specialty supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products.


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