DSA Releases Annual Industry Report


At its 2013 Annual Meeting, the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) released the results of its Annual Growth & Outlook Survey. The survey found that U.S. direct sales totaled $31.6 billion in 2012, up 5.9 percent from $29.87 billion in 2011. Here are a few highlights from the report:

    • U.S. direct sales market grew at a faster pace than the overall economy, which saw only a 4.0 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP).
  • In 2012, the number of people engaged in direct selling rose to 15.9 million from 15.6 million in 2011.

A considerable uptick in the size of the industry’s salesforce occurred in 2009, largely in response to the economic recession. Over the past two years, that trend corrected itself as the number of salespeople dropped incrementally; however, the number is once again on the rise. “Despite progress toward economic recovery, there are still many Americans looking for a source of supplemental income. Coupled with increasing consumer confidence, both sales and interest in the opportunity are at near-record levels,” said DSA President Joe Mariano.

  • Both the Wellness and Services categories have seen a steady increase in sales over the last several years. Various direct selling energy companies that have entered deregulated markets across the country have notably contributed to the growth of the Services category.

WFDSA Global Statistics

The DSA announcement occurred in conjunction with a World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) report on global direct sales trends. “We saw growth in sales and salesforce in all regions of the world,” said Alessandro Carlucci, WFDSA Chairman and CEO of Brazilian direct selling company Natura Cosméticos. Carlucci also noted strong growth in emerging markets around the world.

Global direct sales totaled $166.9 billion in 2012, up 5.4 percent from $158.3 billion in 2011. With 19 percent of all sales, the U.S. represents the world’s top direct selling market—followed by Japan (14 percent), China (12 percent), Brazil (9 percent), and South Korea (8 percent).

“Whenever you have a product or service that is enhanced by personal recommendation or explanation, direct selling is a viable distribution model,” Mariano noted. “Consumers aren’t used to ‘comparison shopping’ for utilities so they rely on recommendations of those whom they trust. That’s one of the key benefits of direct selling.”

  • Smaller direct selling companies (reporting annual retail sales under $3 million) saw an average retail sales increase of about 22 percent, with 76 percent of those companies experiencing growth.

“Our research has shown that, across the board, consumers like the idea of supporting small, local businesses,” said Mariano.

Read the full DSA press release and view a video of the announcements below.

WFDSA/USDSA 2012 Global Direct Selling Statistics Announcement from Amy Robinson on Vimeo.


About Direct Selling News
Direct Selling News Magazine has been serving direct selling and network marketing executives since 2004. Each issue of Direct Selling News offers content on topics that shape the dynamics of our industry.

2 Responses to DSA Releases Annual Industry Report

  1. Pingback: Celebrating the Resilience of Direct Sellers | Direct Selling News Blog

  2. Pingback: ACN Announces Venture into Merchant Services | Direct Selling News Blog

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