Have you recently begun a new exercise routine and need a way to get more protein in your diet? Perhaps you’re looking for a nutrition bar that tastes good while meeting your dietary needs. Or maybe you're just looking for good supplements. A place like The Vitamin Shoppe can be ideal for your needs.

Of course, you can search online – heaven knows everything is online. However, if you have questions, you have to call a phone number or send an email and wait for a response. Brick-and-mortar stores exist purely for this purpose and often have knowledgeable staff right there to help. The Vitamin Shoppe has both.


Vitamin Shoppe: Pros & Cons

PROS

  • More extensive range of products than your local drugstore or grocery store
  • Superior knowledge and understanding of their products
  • Low and affordable prices

CONS

  • According to some reviews, it takes forever to get through to someone online.

Vitamin Shoppe

Vitamin Shoppe Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg, Natural Antioxidant Formula to Support Glucose Metabolism Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar, Ala Fights Free Radicals, Gluten Dairy Free (120 Capsules)


​​​What Is The Vitamin Shoppe?

The Vitamin Shoppe is a company that sells health foods and supplements for a variety of diets and exercise programs. They have a more extensive range of products than your local drugstore or grocery store, often at lower prices. That gives you the ability to make better choices to fit your personal needs.

Have you recently begun a new exercise routine and need a way to get more protein in your diet? Perhaps you’re looking for a nutrition bar that tastes good while meeting your dietary needs. Or maybe you're just looking for good supplements. A place like The Vitamin Shoppe can be ideal for your needs.

Of course, you can search online – heaven knows everything is online. However, if you have questions, you have to call a phone number or send an email and wait for a response. Brick-and-mortar stores exist purely for this purpose and often have knowledgeable staff right there to help. The Vitamin Shoppe has both.

The Vitamin Shoppe Company

The Vitamin Shoppe is a company that sells health foods and supplements for a variety of diets and exercise programs. They have a more extensive range of products than your local drugstore or grocery store, often at lower prices. That gives you the ability to make better choices to fit your personal needs.

History

The Vitamin Shoppe opened its first store in 1977 in New York City. Founder Jeffrey Horowitz was known as a pharmacist who wanted to help people meet their lifestyle needs.  It began as a “supplier of pills and powders.” The company is based in New Jersey, with over 700 stores across the United States today. It also has several stores in Canada and has gone well beyond its original goal of merely selling vitamin pills and similar supplements.

Vitamin Shoppe’s Product Line

If you’re looking for, well, pretty much anything nutritional that isn’t fresh food, the Vitamin Shoppe is where it’s at.


Vitamins and Minerals

Ultimate Woman 50+ Multivitamin (180 Tablets) by The Vitamin Shoppe

Ultimate Woman 50+ Multivitamin (180 Tablets)

Are you looking for just vitamins or minerals? The Vitamin Shoppe has vitamins A, B, C, D, and E; and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. You can find these in multivitamins or individual packages. They also carry multivitamins suitable for men, women, and children, and prenatal vitamins necessary for women who are pregnant.

You can also find everything from Omega-3 and -6 supplements, to antioxidants, to CoQ10 and even amino acids. The Vitamin Shoppe has supplements for bone and joint health and healthy aging, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Fitness Supplements and Goals

Multi Enzyme Helps Support The Digestion Absorption of Protein, Carbs Fat (600 Tablets) by The Vitamin Shoppe

Multi Enzyme Helps Support The Digestion Absorption of Protein, Carbs Fat (600 Tablets)

If you’re looking for things that support fitness, the Vitamin Shoppe carries many different products to support any goal you can think of. Whether you want to lose weight and get to a healthy weight, build muscle, or build your energy and endurance, this nutrition store likely has what you need.

Are you looking for protein? The Vitamin Shoppe carries whey protein, casein protein, other plant-based proteins, and other natural proteins. If you want pre- or post-workout supplements to support your existing fitness routine or a new fitness routine, they have those as well.

Meal Replacement

Next Step Fit N Full Shake French Vanilla (2.2 Pound Powder) by The Vitamin Shoppe

Next Step Fit N Full Shake French Vanilla (2.2 Pound Powder)

Their protein supplements above can function as meal replacements, but this company also carries complete meal replacements. These can take the place of your meals and boost your protein intake without making you feel like you need to stuff yourself silly.

In addition to simple protein shakes and powders, The Vitamin Shoppe carries bars and cookies. They also have complete shakes and drinks that are tailored to your specific dietary needs. These products come in a wide variety of flavors, so you'll very likely find something tasty that works well for you. Meal replacements can also function more like snacks than full meals, helping to keep you full so you don’t overeat.

Popular Herbs and Teas

Turmeric Extract 300mg, Standardized Herb That Supports Cellular Health Provides Antioxidant Benefits with 95 Curcumin and 65mg of Calcium (300 Capsules) by The Vitamin Shoppe

Turmeric Extract 300mg, Standardized Herb That Supports Cellular Health Provides Antioxidant Benefits with 95 Curcumin and 65mg of Calcium (300 Capsules)

If herbs are what you're looking for, then you can find everything from turmeric to milk thistle, to melatonin with this company. They carry hundreds of herbs in varying doses and potencies at good prices. But that's not all. The Vitamin Shoppe also carries a large number of herbal teas for health, digestive and metabolic support, and more, in a wide variety of flavors.

Pricing Of Popular Products

The amount you can expect to pay for something from The Vitamin Shoppe depends on what it is:

Multivitamins

Many people go to nutrition stores looking for a good multivitamin. What you'll pay at The Vitamin Shoppe depends on what you're looking for, and how many you want to buy at one time. If you're looking for women's multivitamins, they run anywhere from $10 to $65. The more specific your needs, the more you can expect to pay (obviously, you'll also pay more for bigger bottles).

Prenatal vitamins are especially necessary for pregnant women, as they help support your health and that of your baby. The Vitamin Shoppe sells them for anywhere from $13 to $100.

If you're looking for a multivitamin for your children, what you'll pay depends heavily on your child's needs and on what they like to eat. The Vitamin Shoppe's children's vitamins come in many flavors, from fruit to chocolate, in gummies, chewable pills, and standard tablets. You can find them for between $8 and $65.

If you're a man looking for multivitamins, you'll find that they start at $11, and run up to $63.

Meal Replacements

Slimfast shakes cost between $7 and $14 on The Vitamin Shoppe's website. MetRx replacement powder can cost between $11 and $44. Meanwhile, meal replacement bars like Clif Bars and Kind cost between $12 and $22.

Protein Powder

The Vitamin Shoppe is the place to come for protein powder, as they have over 300 selections of whey protein alone. Whey protein will cost you between $8 and $120. All told, there are over 800 choices for protein powder, including other plant-based protein, casein, and "raw" proteins. The general price range for protein powder is $15 to $118, depending on what you want and how much you want to buy.

Product knowledge, deals, and customer service

Customer service and product knowledge at The Vitamin Shoppe seem to depend heavily on where you live and what you’re looking for. However, in general, their in-store staff is amicable and knowledgeable not just about the company’s product lines, but also about things like returns and discontinued products. There are also rewards programs, deals and discounts you might have trouble finding elsewhere.

If you’re ordering online, delivery seems to be all over the place. Many receive their products when they’re supposed to, while others have to wait several days too long. You might be waiting more than a week for something that was supposed to arrive in three days.

It’s easier to find good deals online than it is in the stores, but if you want to talk to someone immediately, you’ll likely have better luck in the stores. According to some reviews, it takes forever to get through to someone online. There can be problems with multiple unanswered emails and unfriendly customer service agents over the phone.

Since the Vitamin Shoppe is a large company, customer service and knowledgeability are likely to continue to be all over the map. You’ll probably have much better person-to-person service in a store than online or over the phone.

How Does Vitamin Shoppe Compare to Similar Stores?

It's important to understand that this particular retail niche is experiencing problems, and The Vitamin Shoppe isn't immune to them. Regardless, it's still important to look at the fact that GNC, Vitamin World and A1 Supplements all provide similar products and services to The Vitamin Shoppe. How do they compare?

GNC

Between GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe, GNC is the larger company. Some might feel that the bigger the company, the better it is. However, across multiple health, fitness, and other forums, The Vitamin Shoppe is recommended hands-down over GNC. Some prefer the Vitamin Shoppe's ubiquitous sales, deals, and coupons. Others say that GNC provides low-quality products for unnecessarily high prices.

Another significant point in The Vitamin Shoppe's favor is its atmosphere and its variety of products. That variety gives customers who aren't looking to supplement an extreme exercise program things from which to choose. GNC seems to be geared more towards people who want to bulk up with its much smaller selections.

Despite that, they have 2.5 stars on Consumer Affairs, whereas The Vitamin Shoppe only has 2.0 stars.

Vitamin World

Vitamin World is similar to The Vitamin Shoppe, but they don't have as wide a selection of products. Both companies have an extensive range of products in addition to hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores nationwide. Both are reasonably well-known companies, and both are geared towards the average consumer.

Furthermore, Vitamin World and The Vitamin Shoppe both have a number of sales and deals going on at any given time. However, Vitamin World offers a 90-day return policy, whereas The Vitamin Shoppe only has a 30-day return policy. Some might consider that to be a point in Vitamin World's favor. Indeed, there have been some complaints about The Vitamin Shoppe's tiny return window.

On Consumer Affairs, Vitamin World has just over three stars, compared to The Vitamin Shoppe's two stars. One of the primary complaints about The Vitamin Shoppe has to do with delivery, packaging, and problem resolution. Products often don't get delivered on time, or at all. It can be like pulling teeth to get them to work with you over the phone or online.

Swanson Health Products

Swanson Vitamins might be a tiny company with only 600 employees, but online, they sell over 26,000 products. They even carry extensive product lines for dogs and cats. The Vitamin Shoppe, by contrast, only has one pet product and it's for dogs. They don't appear to have anything for cats.

One of Swanson's most significant claims is that they're dedicated to providing "science-backed vitamins and supplements" and total wellness solutions for everyone. This company sells its products almost entirely online with distribution centers in Nevada and Pennsylvania. Their marketing, customer service, manufacturing and primary distribution center is located in North Dakota.

Despite Swanson's massive range of products, there are problems. They won't ship most of their products to certain states, like California, so unlike The Vitamin Shoppe, if you live in California can pretty much forget about getting any of Swanson's products. Another common complaint is that their customer service is very slow both on the phone and online. If you're having problems with an order, you might spend a lot of time trying to contact someone who can straighten things out for you. On ResellerRatings.com, they have a 1.5-star rating. On SiteJabber.com, they have 3.5 stars.

Our Ruling

We compiled this information from The Vitamin Shoppe's website, as well as from review sites such as SiteJabber.com, Consumer Affairs, and ResellerRatings.com. We also looked through bodybuilding and fitness forums to see what people were talking about amongst each other. They have such a massive selection of products. Furthermore, in-store, they have superior knowledge and understanding of their products. Online, not so much. Despite the low ratings on Consumer Affairs, we give The Vitamin Shoppe 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

GREAT

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