Direct selling generated 183.7 billion in global retail sales in 2015, a new record for the channel, according to the newest estimates from the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. The total global direct selling salesforce also reached a new high, increasing 4.4 percent to 103 million people.
While the new data is important, the real stories are in the growing companies and consultants’ businesses that are fueling the growth.
One of the growth stories is California-based skincare and cosmetics brand SeneGence International, which has been increasing sales by 100 percent or more each of the past three years. And, while 2015 was a record year for SeneGence, Founder and CEO Joni Rogers-Kante is the first to point out that success in direct selling comes from a long-standing commitment to hard work. “I know that it is my purpose in life to offer products and a career that really works to women all over the world, using this mission as a tool to give women confidence, security and abundance for themselves and their loved ones,” Kante told writer J.M. Emmert for the story, which begins on Page 52. “That sense of purpose and determination has shaped the person I’ve become and also the mission of SeneGence.”
New arrivals on the direct selling landscape also play an important role in driving growth in the channel. This month’s Young Company Focus, beginning on Page 66, offers a closer look at one of these upstarts. Jean-Charles Boisset turned to direct selling as a sales channel for the Boisset Collection family of wineries in 2012 and, since then, has seen its network of Ambassadors grow to 1,800. “It’s the most exciting thing I’ve personally ever done,” he told writer Heather Martin of the decision to move into direct selling. “There’s no other model that allows you to have a limitless amount of people energized by what you do.”
And of course, large, established companies also contribute to direct selling’s global success as they continue to evolve. In a story beginning on Page 40, writer Nicholas Sakelaris shares the inside story of Maryland-based Take Shape For Life as it embarks on an extensive rebranding journey. The company launched a new product line called Optavia at its annual convention in July, broadening the company’s focus from weight loss to wellness. By July 2017, the entire company will adopt the Optavia name. “We see this as being the biggest, most important event that we’ve had in my five years of running the company,” Mike MacDonald, Chairman and CEO of TSFL’s parent company Medifast, told DSN. “We’re going down a common path to improve the health of people here and around the world. This whole new branding is really designed to demonstrate who we are, what we stand for and the difference we want to make in people’s lives, here in the U.S., and soon around the world.”