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Vitamin Shoppe to Spin Off Web Business

North Bergen, NJ-based Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc. incorporated its Internet business, VitaminShoppe.com, as a separate subsidiary focused on e-commerce.

Kathryn Creech, founder of Hearst's HomeArts Network, has been named president and chief executive officer of the e-commerce subsidiary. VitaminShoppe.com, launched in April 1998, had first quarter 1999 revenues in excess of $2 million, the company said.

VitaminShoppe.com is supported by a distribution and customer-service facility in New Jersey owned by the parent company and allowing same-day shipment of a range of nationally branded products, offered at discounts of 20 percent to 40 percent.

Creech established HomeArts as a popular Internet destination for women. Previously, she was vice president of global marketing services for Dun & Bradstreet and she has held a number of senior marketing and management positions in the cable television industry.

"Kathryn's experience in building online brands that complement the business strategies of a traditional parent company are unsurpassed," said The Vitamin Shoppe's president and founder, Jeff Howard. "The Vitamin Shoppe is one of the most recognized names in vitamin retail. With Kathryn at the helm, VitaminShoppe.com will dramatically strengthen its already significant market leadership."

Creech's priorities at VitaminShoppe.com include acceleration of marketing and business-building initiatives, as well as continued enhancement of the functionality of the site. Creech will also expand the VitaminShoppe.com management team, which is relocating to Manhattan.

The parent company, Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc., was founded in 1977 and has more than 50 retail stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.