Max Muscle Sports Nutrition's Two St. Louis Metro Locations Continue to Exceed Growth Plans

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In just over three years in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Max Muscle Sports Nutrition is defying weak national retail sales and exceeding profit projections for its two St. Louis metro area locations. According to Andrew Zanowski, owner of both the Maryland Heights and O'Fallon, Missouri stores, 2009 sales are growing every month compared to the same month last year, which is a stark contrast to national sales trends for most retailers. Zanowski attributes his stores' strong sales to having an educated sales force of certified nutritional consultants who can answer questions and recommend high-quality products to a diverse group of customers.

In just over three years in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Max Muscle Sports Nutrition is defying weak national retail sales and exceeding profit projections for its two St. Louis metro area locations.

According to Andrew Zanowski, owner of both the Maryland Heights and O'Fallon, Missouri stores, 2009 sales are growing every month compared to the same month last year, which is a stark contrast to national sales trends for most retailers. Zanowski attributes his stores' strong sales to having an educated sales force of certified nutritional consultants who can answer questions and recommend high-quality products to a diverse group of customers.

The first Max Muscle Sports Nutrition store opened in March 2006 at 12638 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights. "We selected the location on Dorsett because of the concentration of young, single people and the proximity to two of the area's largest gyms," Zanowski says. "But sustained growth has come from a wide range of demographics, including married women and business professionals." Zanowski says the Maryland Heights store has slightly more male customers, but that the O'Fallon store is definitely an equal mix of males and females.

"We have a wide selection of Max Muscle branded products that appeal to women, including our Gourmet Protein Powders and our Cleanse & Lean supplement, which is a great kick-start to any new fitness and nutrition program," he says. "Many of our female customers come in at the recommendation of friends who've had good experiences with these products." Max Muscle St. Louis advertises on several radio stations and recently launched a new web site and blog, which have driven new customers to both locations this summer.

In addition to its product mix, Max Muscle St. Louis can attribute its growing sales to a unique nutrition consulting service it provides, called the Lifestyle Diet Program. Customers who are interested in losing weight, gaining muscle and eliminating bad eating habits can commit to this 12-week program, led by Max Muscle's certified nutritional consultants. According to Mike Hojnacki, Regional Director for Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in the St. Louis and Kansas City area, the popularity of this 12-week program is a primary reason that Max Muscle St. Louis is growing faster than originally anticipated. Max Muscle has hired two additional people to accommodate growth at both locations, and to consult with the large number of customers who want the personalized attention of the Lifestyle Diet Program.

"In this uncertain economy, there is a national movement toward people taking control of the things they can control, and we've found that an individual's health and nutrition are often first on that list," Hojnacki says. "Andrew and his staff have done a great job of capitalizing on this national trend, and the result is a significant increase in same-store sales for Maryland Heights from its first year to its second year." Hojnacki says first-year sales at the O'Fallon store (which opened in June 2008) are also considerably higher than they were for the Maryland Heights location in its first year. This week, Hojnacki will join about 150 other Regional Directors, Franchisees and Max Muscle management at its annual convention where they will meet to discuss sales strategies for the fast-growing retailer. "I am really looking forward to discussing the success of our two St. Louis locations as I talk to operators from around the country," he says.

About Max Muscle Sports Nutrition:
Max Muscle Sports Nutrition is a national retail franchise with over 150 locations across the country. Max Muscle stores sell both Max Muscle branded products and other well-known brands of supplements. For more information, visit http://www.maxmuscle.com or http://www.maxmusclestl.com.

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Marny Bielefeldt
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