While GNC (NYSE:GNC) has had a presence in the booming Chinese consumer market for two years, primarily via its distribution center and "store within a store" locations, it plans to open its first stand-alone retail facility in Shanghai today, the company announced yesterday, and plans to open 25 more retail outlets in China within the next 12 months.

GNC's first retail store in China will be located in Raffles City, one of Shanghai's prime retail and office space districts, "strategically located opposite the historic People's Square and within walking distance of Nanjing Road and the Shanghai Municipal Government Office," the company said.

GNC Chairman, President, and CEO Joseph Fortunato was quoted in the company press release as saying the company is "excited about finding new opportunities to address the needs of China's many health & wellness consumers with new and innovative products."

GNC has more than 8,200 locations, with more than 6,200 retail locations in the United States and franchise operations in 55 countries. It currently has more than 60 store within a store locations within eight different major grocery, convenience, and health and wellness chains in China.