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New research has shown continued strong growth in the UK’s direct selling sector in the first quarter of the year.
According to direct-to-consumer retail body The Direct Selling Association (DSA), there was an average quarter-on-quarter increase in turnover of 32 per cent across companies that took park in its survey.
These companies include the likes of Avon, The Body Shop, Usborne Books at Home and Amway.
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“Following a particularly strong year for the channel in 2020, direct selling is continuing to grow within the UK market,” DSA director general Susannah Schofield said.
“Many of our members reported quarter-on-quarter growth of double figures in Q1, with one stating that turnover grew by 103 per cent.”
She added: “As with many retail brands, the fourth quarter is typically the largest of the year for many of our members, so to see quarter-on-quarter growth of this nature in Q1 is significant.”
The DSA also found that the number of people joining direct selling brands to earn additional income by becoming independent salespeople increased by an average of 23 per cent in the first quarter.
In addition, all 22 chief executives of the businesses the DSA surveyed felt optimistic about their firm’s performance in 2021.
“The closure of non-essential shops during the Covid-19 lockdowns prompted a significant number of people to both discover and re-engage with direct selling as an alternative way to buy a wide range of products,” Schofield said.
“In addition, the increased number of people joining the sector to earn as independent salespeople has helped to increase awareness of brands selling this way throughout the UK, helping to further drive growth.”
The DSA defines direct selling as a £2.67 billion-a-year channel where products are sold directly to consumers outside of a fixed retail environment.
This could be via social events, Tupperware-style parties, online or through catalogue distribution.
Individuals act as independent salespeople and earn through commission paid on product sales.
Direct selling also operates in a similar manner to a franchise, but start-up fees are considerably lower, and it is often free to get started.