Emergency Product Removal


Global Vitamin Company (GVC) faced two unique issues. One of their products was deemed “unsafe.” GVC needed to remove products from every global location and to ensure the product did not continue to be illegally available. Additionally, the substitute product required the use of a specific script when selling to customers seeking the banned product. GVC needed a method of removal, inspection, and verification that could occur quickly, consistently, and simultaneously.


HS Brands offered their vast shopper network across 29 countries. As a result, GVC utilized the experience and methodology of HS Brands to meet their timing and resource needs. Leveraging HS Brands’ question and process experience, GVC and HS Brands worked together to build the correct shopper script and action plan.


HS Brands assembled and managed shopper panels in 29 countries. Shoppers who could navigate the local market and who would best mirror the typical GVC customer were selected. These shoppers were trained on the script and process to follow for success.

The shoppers arrived as regular customers. After ensuring that the banned products were not present, the shoppers inquired about the product’s availability. Sales associates were expected to communicate that the product was no longer available and to direct the “customer” to the alternative product. The shoppers would ask if there was “any way” they “could still get” the banned product.


The shops provided GVC with assurance that the products were removed and no longer offered in any manner. In cases where the products were still displayed or associates offered personal supplies of the product, GVC was able to take immediate action to reduce liability and protect consumer safety.


HS Brands executed over 6,000 shops across 29 countries in a single month. Thus, within 30 days, GVC had safeguarded their customers; protected their brand name and image; and reduced the potential liability created by the product’s association with their stores. Additionally, through examining the associates’ responses, HS Brands mitigated GVC’s risk of legal action over illegal sales of the banned product.

The shops provided an additional benefit — associate training on the alternate product offering improved and the new sales offset the lost revenue from the banned product.

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