Tupperware-style retail sees 45% growth in 2020

Tupperware-style retail sees 45% growth in 2020
Direct selling retail is a £2.67bn-a-year sector where products are sold directly to consumers outside of a fixed retail environment.
// Survey of direct-to-consumer “social shopping” retailers outlines average growth of 45.5% in 2020
// Survey respondents also report 46.4% average increase in people joining DTC sector to earn

Tupperware-style retail enjoyed significant growth this year, with data suggesting that a correlation with an increase in people looking for new income streams due to the pandemic.

According to a new survey from the UK industry body for direct-to-consumer “social shopping” retail, the Direct Selling Association (DSA), there was an average 45.5 per cent growth in sales through in 2020.

The findings come as brands including The Body Shop and Amway spoke of record sales through their direct selling divisions over recent months during an industry roundtable event.


Other brands and retailers who have a social shopping channel include Avon, Usborne Books at Home, and Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic.

During a virtual roundtable event last week chaired by retail analyst Natalie Berg, The Body Shop’s direct selling division revealed that sales in April and May this year – the peak of the pandemic and lockdown – were similar in volume to a full year’s sales three or four years ago.

The division also saw a significant increase in its independent salesforce in the UK, with consultant numbers now approximately 60,000, making it one of the largest direct selling brands in the UK.

Meanwhile, Amway said November was its strongest sales month in over 15 years, and its UK turnover is set to close approximately 20 per cent up on 2019 levels following a major uplift in sales through 2020.

“We anticipated reasonably strong growth for direct-to-consumer retail at the start of 2020, but no-one could have predicted what happened following Covid-19,” DSA director general Susannah Schofield said.

“Despite considerable uncertainty for many brands in March and April, direct-to-consumer retailers rapidly adapted to serve customers when other more traditional forms of retail were closed during lockdown.

“With low overheads and the ability to be far nimbler than many traditional channels, I expect to see strong sales via the channel into 2021, particularly given the considerable growth in people joining brands to earn this way as independent salespeople.”

The number of people joining “social shopping” brands to earn additional income by becoming independent salespeople was also found to have increased by 46.4 per cent this year, the DSA said.

Usborne Books at Home saw a 101 per cent increase in people joining, whereby consultants earn approximately 24 per cent commission on each product sold.

The DSA said direct selling retail is a £2.67 billion-a-year sector where products are sold directly to consumers outside of a fixed retail environment.

This could be via Tupperware-style parties, online or through catalogue distribution.

Individuals act as independent salespeople and earn through commission paid on product sales.

The latest data, from pre-Covid, estimates that in the UK approximately 563,000 people earn this way, usually on a part-time basis to supplement household incomes.

The average amount earned in the UK through direct selling is £373 per month.

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