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Cover Stories take a deep dive into the month’s top trends or topics. These long-form articles can cover companies, issues or newsmakers in the direct selling channel.
The story of direct selling in 2009 and 2010 is much the same as it was worldwide for all industries. Developing nations continued to rise, and China and India were standouts for significant growth. More people were clamoring for additional income opportunities, but overall direct sales numbers were generally lower than they were a few years ago. In short, less was more around the world.
In December 2010, Nordstrom Inc. announced that November 2010 revenue from its stores that had been open at least a year rose 5.1 percent, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations. Nordstrom indicated that its best-selling items included jewelry and women’s and men’s shoes. Also in December of last year, JCPenney announced the launch of a Facebook e-commerce application, which gives the more than 1.3 million people who “like” the retailer the chance to purchase product directly from JCPenney’s Facebook page. According to the retailer, only selected product categories—including jewelry, shoes and handbags—are now sold on Facebook.
While the economic downturn of the past few years has forced many consumers to tighten their belts on discretionary spending habits, sales of weight loss products has remained consistent and, in many instances, experienced tremendous growth over other products offered by the direct selling industry.
More and more U.S.-based direct selling companies are looking abroad to capture the growing demand for new products and career opportunities. Regional markets in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia are leading the industry in growth of salesforce and revenue.