GNC: (General Nutrition Center, for my non-US readers, a chain of stores selling nothing but vitamin supplements and powders used by weight lifters.) - Okay, it's not that I don't get why people buy what GNC sells. I myself buy the occasional protein bar there and, in my younger days, I used to buy whey protein and other stuff that I deluded myself into thinking would give me bigger muscles. What I don't get is how there are so many of them? They're not small stores either. I mean are there that many people buying overpriced vitamins, flavored protein powders, muscle enhancers and bee pollen? (Obviously, since the chain's been around since just about forever and does very little in the way of advertising or promotion, but still... I mean there are 3 or 4 in walking distance of my office.) Who is keeping them in business?
Jamba Juice: A chain of stores selling fruit smoothies and the occasional coffee drink. Again, I have bought smoothies there, but are there really enough people buying smoothies to keep a large store like that in business? They're everywhere (even on The Sopranos!) and I have a tough time imagining how they sell enough $5 smoothies to cover the rent, let alone salaries and franchising fees. But again, they're expanding, not contracting, and they do precious little advertising.
Any thoughts from the audience and additions to the list will be greatly encouraged.