MIAMI, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A1Supplements, one of the world’s first online sports supplement retailers, is taking steps to firmly cement its industry leadership. Recently acquired by Gotham Cigars, LLC, the move enables A1Supplements to take full advantage of the country’s dramatic uptick in online shopping. In addition to greater efficiencies, the company’s leadership is excited to use digital analytics to provide its suppliers with valuable consumer market data.
A1Supplements Founder and CEO Nick Saliba, who has worked nonstop on the business since 1997, is stepping away from his day-to-day responsibilities to give himself a well-deserved break. The new owner/CEO is Manny Balani, an experienced retail ecommerce executive who will apply the latest technologies to this landmark business, and provide valuable consumer buying insights to sports supplement manufacturers.
A self-taught businessman, Saliba built A1Supplements from the ground up to become a respected player in the sports supplement retail industry. The company represents about 200 brands in approximately 500 categories. A1Supplements has developed a loyal customer base because of its prices, swift shipping and policy of treating customers like family.
“After being in this business for 30 years, and proving that the impossible is possible, I was ready to pass the baton to this very impressive businessperson,” says Saliba. “I’m excited about what lies ahead for Manny, the dietary supplements industry and most importantly for A1Supplements.”
Saliba will continue with A1Supplements in an advisory capacity. “His 30 years of experience in the supplements industry, and vendor relations he has built, are something you can’t buy. His involvement is key to bringing the company to the next level,” states Balani.
Capitalizing on strengths and synergies
Balani, who completed the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy Program at Harvard Business School, brings a wealth of ecommerce experience to his new position.
Having created and built Gotham Cigars to become a premier direct-to-consumer online retailer, Balani says A1Supplements is an ideal fit for his skills and knowledge. “We had been looking to expand by entering into an ancillary category with products that are lightweight, shippable, consumable and have a recurring revenue model.”
He continues, “A1Supplements has a strong customer loyalty base and has always been a pioneer in the industry. There will be many quick wins as we maximize economies of scale.”
Applying the latest ecommerce strategies will keep A1Supplements competitive
Balani outlines several key objectives that will benefit product suppliers as well as customers:
- Deeper understanding of customers: “Our industry partners will quickly see this value added benefit. We will apply a deeper level of analytics to A1’s customer data to get a better understanding of their shopping habits. We want to know more about their demographics and why they are loyal, so that we can better personalize their shopping experience,” says Balani. “We will share these consumer buying habit insights with our vendor partners who are supplying us with best-in-class products.”
- Greater behind-the-scenes efficiencies: “Nick wore multiple hats on a daily basis. We’re bringing the infrastructure of a team as well as automation and a streamlined process. Our distribution center, call center and management team will enable us to scale the company and accelerate its growth.”
Balani and Saliba agree that A1Supplements is positioned well for growth. “Manny’s expertise in ecommerce and his vision for the company will enable A1Supplements to tackle higher level wins,” concludes Saliba.
Biography: Manny Balani
Manny Balani is the CEO of A1Supplements, and founder of Nico & Luca Enterprises, LLC. He is also founder and President of Gotham Cigars, a national direct-to-consumer online retailer of premium and mass market cigars. Gotham Cigars has been recognized as a six-time Inc. 5000 Honoree, as well as The Florida Business Journal’s Fast 100 as one of Florida’s fastest growing companies.
Balani started his career out of college as president and founder of Governor’s Distributors, a national B2B tobacco distribution company which he built to nearly $20M in sales, and successfully sold in 2010. He has also been involved with Entrepreneurs Organization, Young Presidents Organization, Boston University Alumni Group and with coaching startup companies at the Advanced Technology Development Center
Balani is a graduate of the Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy Program at Harvard Business School, the Master’s Entrepreneurial Program at MIT, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Boston University.
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SOURCE Gotham Cigars