Kratom has taken the nutraceuticals market by storm, with the entire kratom industry valued at $1.13 billion US dollars. Now, you’d think at that scale, kratom should be sold by every outlet offering supplements and alternative, natural medicines. But you’d be wrong. For instance, The Vitamin Shoppe — one of the pioneer retailers of nutritional supplements — still distances itself from the trendy new herb.
While you might think that The Vitamin Shoppe is something of a laggard for still failing to offer kratom through their countless outlets both on and offline, the vendor has some pretty sound reasons behind their decision to step awkratomay from the kratom craze.
Unlike small-time, single-outlet vendors that don’t really have a lot to lose, The Vitamin Shoppe is an empire that spans 45 years from its inception. So they try to toe the line to maintain their reliability and trustworthiness across the market, especially since they’re competing with other heavyweights in the nutritional supplements industry.
Unfortunately for them, this means having to abide by the regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration. As one of the most trusted, tenured names in the industry, The Vitamin Shoppe strives to set the example and to meet the requirements of the FDA so as to protect their interest from potential losses.
Presently, the FDA does not recognize kratom as safe for human consumption. In fact, vendors that sell and advertise kratom as supplements or food are in direct violation of FDA guidelines. Thus selling kratom products through The Vitamin Shoppe’s shelves — whether virtual or physical — would inevitably showcase the products as ‘for human consumption.’
Another reason why The Vitamin Shoppe has decided to keep its hands off of kratom, for the time being, is because of the risk associated with kratom. Banking institutions that provide merchant accounts for businesses to process credit and debit card payments are conservative by nature. That means they’ll avoid doing business with merchants that might be at risk of losses caused by chargebacks.
Generally, the kratom industry is viewed as a high-risk market. So even if The Vitamin Shoppe is a large enterprise with a long history of successful transactions, adding kratom to their roster puts their merchant account at risk of being frozen if they experience too many chargebacks.
When this happens, The Vitamin Shoppe may lose its ability to process card payments at all locations all at once — leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Not to mention the fact that adding kratom to their line-up inevitably turns them into a high-risk merchant, thus requiring them to pay steeper fees for non-cash transactions.
The Vitamin Shoppe is no stranger to legal battles. Having faced lawsuits concerning harmful supplements, false advertising, and supposed violations of the Securities Exchange Act, The Vitamin Shoppe has managed to save its skin each time. But that doesn’t mean they’re looking to get into a tousle all over again.
In the best interest of their venture, the corporate heads at The Vitamin Shoppe have decided to steer clear of kratom for the potential legal issues they might face. That’s also because kratom itself isn’t necessarily ‘legal’ just yet.
With various locations throughout the United States placing a ban on kratom, The Vitamin Shoppe would have to modify their logistics depending on where their kratom buyers are located. This would be way too much work and effort just to be able to offer a single product, so it comes as no surprise that they’ve decided to avoid it altogether.
One of the things that kratom buyers look for in their product is consistency. Buyers want to make sure that the kratom they buy today and the batch they buy a month from now will produce the same effects. But it’s tough to guarantee this kind of consistency with a herb that changes chemistry even with slight environmental modifications during cultivation.
Because it’s tough to find a kratom farmer that can guarantee exactly the same quality every time, The Vitamin Shoppe would have to risk having their buyers request refunds or enact chargebacks simply because the kratom they got doesn’t compare to a previous batch.
There’s also the concern of seizures. One vendor had the unfortunate experience of getting their kratom import seized by customs. The 540 kilograms of kratom were stuck at customs for months, affecting the quality of the product and irreparably damaging the venture’s cash flow.
As the collective kratom patronage and vendors work together to achieve kratom freedom, we can expect big names like The Vitamin Shoppe to carry the mighty herb alongside their other offers in due time. But for now, there are loads of other vendors that offer a wide range of kratom products that can satisfy anyone and everyone regardless of preferences and standards.