This Week: ‘PEOPLE’ Features Ryan Blair, Yahoo! Talks Direct Selling

Catch up on this week’s industry chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • Before he became Co-Founder and CEO of ViSalus, Ryan Blair was running with a street gang in Los Angeles and digging the occasional meal out of a dumpster. The latest issue of PEOPLE magazine, which hit newsstands Friday, features Blair’s story of success against the odds, including the mentor that helped him change the course of his life and the foundation he created to help at-risk teens.
  • As companies like Thirty-One Gifts and Origami Owl expand into Canada, homegrown brands such as Immunotec, Epicure and Steeped Tea also are raising the profile of direct selling across the country. To help entrepreneurs look before they leap, Yahoo! Finance spoke to Ken Mulhall, President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada, and others about starting a direct selling business and setting realistic expectations.
  • In a wide-ranging interview for Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Joel T. Bines, Managing Director and retail expert with global consultancy AlixPartners, discussed what he describes as a long-term revolution in retail. Bines shares his perspective on supply-chain challenges in Asia, emerging technologies, and why his firm is keeping tabs on direct-to-consumer brands such as custom men’s clothier J.Hilburn and pet products seller pawTree.
  • Thirty-One Gifts is closing two of its Central Ohio distribution centers, located in Johnstown and Springfield, and consolidating operations at the company’s headquarters in Columbus. In a statement, President and CEO Cindy Monroe said bringing Thirty-One’s distribution and personalization operations under one roof will create a “more focused and more competitive organization.” Employees affected by the move have the opportunity to apply to positions in Columbus or opt for a severance package.
  • After successfully marketing its discount travel memberships in South Africa, WorldVentures expanded northward into Zimbabwe three years ago. Colette Bowers, Regional Marketing Director for WorldVentures Zimbabwe, spoke to national news outlet The Standard about direct selling and the company’s prospects in the country.
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