March is always an exciting month for us because we anxiously await the first releases of the previous year’s financial results. Publicly held companies are always first to reveal, and there is good news abounding with releases from Herbalife, Nu Skin, Primerica, Tupperware and others. Avon reported overall growth in revenue despite declines in some regions, including North America, even in the midst of many serious corporate challenges along with the search for a new CEO. Natura, listed on the Brazilian stock exchange, is also expected to post a robust year of growth. As we reported in the supplement we published in The Wall Street Journal in June 2011, the top publicly held direct selling companies outperformed the market average in 2010. Now we anxiously await the performance of all of the top public companies this year to once again make the comparison with the market average. On the private front, we know that Scentsy, Thirty-One Gifts, Stella & Dot, It Works!, LifeVantage and ViSalus—to name a few—had more than a good year. We are anticipating privately held Amway to report very robust growth in 2011, as they continue to experience success with their rebranding of the company, which started several years ago. Read more about publicly held companies in our Financial News, and look forward to the announcement of the DSN 2011 Global 100 companies on April 16, 2012.
Last month I discussed the launch of our new and redesigned website. We are happy to report that visitation has increased dramatically and we have received numerous comments and compliments from so many of you. Design appeal, functionality and ease of search were primary goals, and we appear to be delivering on those objectives based on the feedback we are receiving. As also mentioned in my last “From the Publisher,” trust is a major priority for us because we want to deliver what we do in a manner that is informative, often educational, but always supportive of the positive aspects of direct selling as a most important and valued channel of distribution. Since we announced the new website and reached out to friends throughout the world, we are also happy to report that many of our global friends have chosen to contribute to the web content. Don’t forget that news and stories that do not make the print publication can be found on our website. You will notice a weekly rotation in both our U.S. News and World News categories.
During what most still describe as challenging times for business in any free market, direct selling companies can proudly boast that there is no jobless economy within this distribution channel. In fact, because direct selling companies possibly provide more training and more opportunity than any other industry, one could easily take the leap and say direct selling companies are leading us back to prosperity, not only here in the United States, but in hundreds of countries throughout the world. We have taken this leap and will once again have a Direct Selling News supplement in USA Today, to be distributed in the April 13 weekend edition with the tagline “Leading the Way Back to Prosperity.” The positioning of the stories we tell will support the attributes of the industry and explain why the business model is so appropriate for both consumers and potential independent business owners, and why direct selling is leading us back to prosperity. We are delighted to have the partnership of 10 companies that chose to advertise with us, making the next USA Today supplement possible as well as supportive of all who are part of what is considered by many to be the finest form of social commerce ever created.
Our Company Spotlight is also a very interesting story this month. It is about rebranding and the courage associated with such decisions when you already have a brand that has withstood the test of time for many years. LegalShield, formerly Pre-Paid Legal, tells their story.
Our Cover Story was motivated by observation of the incredible quality and value found in products that are sold through the direct selling channel. As we dug into many different products and their origins, it became quite apparent that research in the direct selling industry is taken very seriously. When exploring the research behind many product categories, we were often pleasantly surprised and always amazed, especially in the area of nutritional supplements. Focusing the article on all of the various product categories cannot be condensed within the parameters of a cover story, so we choose to focus this month’s story on the creation and evolution of nutritional supplements. We think this story is informative, but it is also one that direct sellers can be very proud to boast about.
Our website is also the place to submit company 2011 performance and information for DSN Global 100 candidacy and recognition. Our Direct Selling News–Wall Street Journal supplement for 2012 is planned for distribution the last week of May. The editorial focus of this year’s DSN-WSJ will be primarily devoted to the stories about those companies that make up the DSN Global 100. Limited advertising space is still available for the DSN-WSJ supplement. Jerry Reagan is the DSN contact for inquires.
Until next month … enjoy the issue and the website!
Publisher and Editor in Chief