Florida’s Natural Life retail stores is about to more than double its store count. The eight-outlet retailer announced this week that it will open 10 more stores in Florida in 2021 thanks to a joint venture with Virtual Medical International, a whole health wellness company in the hemp-derived CBD sector.
Natural Life as a company can offer more than 300 CBD products and over 20 brands through its stores and website. The joint venture is expected to duplicate Natural Life’s successful format to establish a larger chain of retail stores that specialize in whole health products and other holistic products.
“This a significant next step forward in adding to our initiative for the franchise expansion business opportunity,” explained Natural Life founder Gabriel Suarez. “It is exciting to have a proven model like Natural Life join with Virtual Medical to offer this new opportunity to prospects that want to get into the whole health space.”
The deal fits in with Virtual Medical’s expansion plans. CEO Larson Elmore cited Natural Life as a solid collaborative partner, saying the deal gives Virtual Medical an immediate presence in the Southeast U.S. market, as well as the ability to increase its footprint across the U.S.
Natural Life provides its own third-party lab testing, regardless of the manufacturer’s own test results. Its attention to quality and safety has led to the successful vetting and approval by Publix supermarkets to be co-located in its big box stores. That store model proves that a similar model can co-locate in other big chain retailers.
“This structure will enable the company to control the quality and breadth of its product offerings, as well as manage, build and support a national distribution network,” Elmore added.
Currently, Natural Life operates seven stores in Florida with another outlet in Joliet, Ill. Virtual Medical is an established multi-channel CBD retail operation, with plans to acquire and open CDB Stores across the U.S.A. and Europe.
Its subsidiary, Amsterdam Café, is a coffee shop-type franchise outlet for CBD wellness products focused on whole health. The diversified, multi-channel business model is designed to generate revenue through product sales at company-owned retail stores, franchise stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships.