September 01, 2015
Industry Growing at Home and Abroad
by Lauren Lawley Head
As I write this, we just received outstanding news: Nine direct selling companies are ranked among the 2015 Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Nerium International led the direct selling pack, coming in at No. 12 with 16,617 percent growth, reaching $403 million in revenue in 2014. Nerium was joined by No. 132 Plexus Worldwide, No. 442 It Works!, No. 564 Jeunesse, No. 915 WorldVentures, No. 2,210 Isagenix, No. 2,814 Ambit Energy, No. 2,864 Beachbody and No. 4,822 Stemtech. Eight of the nine companies are members of the 2015 Direct Selling News Global 100 and North America 50 lists, and the entire DSN team is delighted to see all of them receive this outstanding national recognition. This achievement speaks to the power inherent in direct selling as a distribution channel as well as to the ability of high-performing direct sales companies to compete with the nation’s top corporations.
While the Inc. 500|5000 list celebrates growth among U.S.-based companies, the story of direct selling’s expansion is truly global. In our cover story this month, writer Andrea Tortora explores the most recent research from the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), which identifies 23 countries that each represented more than $1 billion in direct selling retail sales last year. Overall, the global data shows an increase in total sales to $182.8 billion in 2014, a 6.4 percent increase from $171.8 billion in 2013, and an increase in the number of independent business owners to 99.7 million, a 3.4 percent increase from 96.5 million in 2013. All regions of the world and three-quarters of all countries posted increased sales. As WFDSA Chairman Doug DeVos said, “It’s exciting to see more people, both customers and distributors, enjoying the benefits of direct selling.”
International growth played a significant role for one of the Inc. 500|5000 honorees profiled in this edition of Direct Selling News. Jeunesse, featured in the Company Spotlight story on page 34, is a skincare and nutritional products company based in Florida. Since its launch in 2009, the company has expanded into 120 countries, with 32 offices, 40 distribution centers and a salesforce of 550,000. Fifteen of those markets are now generating $1 million in sales each month. “We didn’t want to be at the mercy of any one country,” Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Wendy Lewis told writer Courtney Roush. “The economy may be going great in one market, but taking a temporary downturn in another. Tax rates are different among the markets. Spreading out to as many countries as possible, economic conditions begin to balance each other out.”
Also this month, you will meet FuXion, an $80 million Peruvian company poised to make its U.S. market entry later this year, and Trades of Hope, a young party-plan company dedicated to the belief that sustainable businesses offer a long-term solution to poverty. We hope you find this edition packed with growth, optimism and new ideas for taking your business to the next level.
All the best,
Lauren Lawley Head
Publisher and Editor in Chief