GNC Piloting Drone Delivery Service in Select U.S. Markets


The health and nutrition retailer will take to the skies later this summer, rolling out drone delivery services in Salt Lake City, with other locations to follow.

GNC will partner with Zipline for the initiative, opening up the service to customers in the city who have pre-registered their addresses to check for eligibility. Initially, GNC will work with Zipline’s Platform 1 long-range delivery system, which includes a fleet of smaller, quieter, fixed-wing, autonomous aircraft that drop deliveries into properties via parachute. In 2024, the retailer plans to adopt the Platform 2 system, designed to cater to urban delivery spaces. 

“Partnering with Zipline is propelling GNC to the cutting edge in the retail category,” said Alan Chester, Chief Supply Chain Officer, GNC. “Drone delivery is an innovative way to make our fulfillment, distribution, and delivery processes more efficient, more effective, and faster, ultimately benefiting our consumers. We're excited for this initial test in one U.S. market while considering domestic expansion.”

Retailers Roll Out Drone Technology 

A recent eMarketer report forecasts that retail drones will expand from nearly 35,000 in 2022 to over 110,000 in 2024. Industry leaders like Walmart and Amazon are some of the biggest trailblazers in the drone adoption space. 

The retail giant also partnered with Zipline for its drone projects, recently highlighting the success of its program – which launched in 2021 – and has since expanded to include 36 stores across the country. In fact, Walmart completed over 6,000 deliveries via drone in 2022 alone, taking 30 minutes or less to complete fulfillment post-order placement.

For Amazon’s part, the e-commerce multinational is not one to get left behind, rolling out drone delivery in California in 2022 through its Prime Air service – however, the scope of the project has reportedly been limited so far.  

Elsewhere across the market, grocers like Kroger have experimented with the service, along with smaller players such as Charleys Philly Steaks who have piloted drone delivery services in concentrated areas, partnering with other local restaurants, cafes, and stores to provide a variety of goods and services.

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