Amway Rolls Out Global Volunteer Initiative

Photo: Amway Business Owners (above and below) participate in local volunteer projects.


The world’s largest direct selling company wants to build the world’s largest volunteer force.

Amway Corp. is kicking off a global initiative known as #AmwayVolunteers to highlight the volunteer efforts of its employees and Amway Business Owners, or ABOs, who number more than 3 million worldwide. With that kind of volunteer base, Amway can afford to set some ambitious goals, and it has. The No. 1-ranked direct selling company is gunning to build the world’s largest volunteer force by 2019, when Amway will celebrate 60 years in business.

The concept is simple: ABOs sign up to participate by taking an online pledge to “be the change” in their communities and help people live better lives, specifying what that might look like for them. The next step is to take action and volunteer through the organization or cause of their choice. Finally, the company encourages individuals to share their experiences on social media using #AmwayVolunteers.

“We value the passion and volunteer efforts of Amway Business Owners and Amway employees that are making a dramatic impact in their local communities,” said Jeff Terry, Global Head, Amway Corporate Social Responsibility. “#AmwayVolunteers showcases their individual works (on a global scale) in an effort to create the world’s largest volunteer community by 2019.”

This new undertaking broadens the scope of Amway’s grassroots volunteer efforts, which primarily have focused on the One by One Campaign for Children, centered on causes that support children in need, and the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign, which raises funds and awareness to help fight childhood malnutrition.

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ACN Targets Asia in First Market Expansion in Two Years

Essential services and health products firm ACN is expanding internationally for the first time in two years with the launch of operations in Japan.

Initially, the company is making its Benevita health and wellness line available to Japanese consumers. ACN introduced Benevita three years ago in select international markets, diversifying a longstanding portfolio of essential services such as wireless, Internet, and gas and electricity. ACN plans to roll out some of those services in Japan in the future.

The move into Japan puts the company in 26 markets worldwide. The island country is the first market ACN has added since July 2014, when operations commenced in Mexico. The North Carolina company branched into Asia in 2010 with the launch of its South Korea business.

“As the fifth-largest direct selling market worldwide, Japan was incredibly appealing to us,” said Greg Provenzano, President and Co-Founder of ACN. “But it was the people that sealed the deal when selecting Japan to continue our Asian expansion.”

The market will be served by a new regional headquarters located in Tokyo. In addition to corporate offices, the facility houses meeting spaces, a call center and a retail storefront. ACN’s Vice President of Sales, Danny Bae, will oversee operations in the country. Bae, who initially joined ACN as an Independent Business Owner, has been key to the company’s expansion into Asia.

In Nepal, doTERRA Partners with CHOICE on Earthquake-Ready Schools

Photo: Nearly a year after the 2015 earthquake, rubble still fills the streets of Bhaktapur, Nepal.


Essential oil seller doTERRA International and CHOICE Humanitarian recently completed the first two earthquake-resilient schools in Nepal, after a 7.8-magnitude quake devastated the region last year.

In September 2015, doTERRA announced that it would team up with CHOICE to provide aid and create jobs for poverty-stricken communities in Nepal. The international nonprofit is dedicated to ending extreme poverty and improving quality of life through a self-developing, village-centered approach. In Nepal, that approach has included the construction of local schools. The first two, built in partnership with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, are also the first in the country to comply with new structural regulations instituted by the Nepali government.

“Through the amazing generosity of our doTERRA Wellness Advocates and those working in Nepal, together we’ve been able to help families begin to reestablish themselves,” said Emily Wright, doTERRA Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Something as simple as having a school to attend or a safe home makes all the difference. We are honored and happy to be able to play a part.”

In the past year, doTERRA and its Wellness Advocates have donated more than $636,000 to rebuilding efforts in Nepal. The company also has sent several groups to assist in projects CHOICE is orchestrating on the ground. On the manufacturing side, doTERRA is investing in some of the most affected regions of the country through Co-Impact Sourcing of its wintergreen essential oil. The company’s co-impact initiative is focused on forming long-term partnerships with small-scale growers and distillers to bring sustainable income to underdeveloped economies.

Avon Sees Higher Profit in Second Quarter

After spinning off its North America business in March, Avon Products Inc. (AVP—NYSE) began to improve its bottom line in the most recent quarter.

The beauty company is implementing a cost-cutting plan introduced in January that will include trimming its staff and supply chain and moving its headquarters to the United Kingdom. After three years, the plan is expected to save Avon $350 million a year before taxes.

In the quarter ended June 30, the company cleared a profit of $33 million, up from $28.8 million a year earlier. Per-share earnings slipped to 6 cents from 7 cents a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings were down from 9 cents a share to 7 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 2 cents a share.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $1.43 billion, beating the $1.41 billion predicted by analysts.

Earlier this year, the beauty company inked a deal with Cerberus Capital Management LP for majority ownership of Avon’s domestic operations. Cerberus agreed to inject $435 million into the business, which it then took private as New Avon LLC, along with another $170 million investment in Avon Products.

Revenue was down across the company’s remaining segments, hurt by foreign exchange rates. Constant-dollar revenue was up in all segments except Asia Pacific, where the company logged a 5 percent decline.

“Our performance improvements were broad-base with nine of our top 10 markets growing in local currency,” said Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Products. “We continue to make steady progress on a number of fronts: improving pricing discipline; driving additional cost out of the business; and continuing to build our brand and enhance the Representative experience,” said Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Products.

Following Tuesday’s release, shares in Avon climbed as much as 21 percent to $5.04—the stock’s biggest intraday jump since Feb. 12. Ahead of the report, the shares were up 2.7 percent this year.

Asset Purchase Brings Viridian Energy under New Leadership

Crius Energy has entered a partnership that will streamline operations at direct selling subsidiary Viridian Energy while granting Crius exclusive access to the brand’s electricity and natural gas customers, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Certain assets of the business were acquired by the newly formed Viridian International Management LLC, which will pay $2 million in cash upon completion of the deal and a $4 million promissory note due in 12 months. The agreement includes payments to Crius Energy totaling $10 million over five years. Management said the move is intended to position Viridian, billed as a socially responsible energy company, for accelerated growth and international expansion.

“When Viridian was founded in 2009, we had no idea just how far-reaching, how impactful the efforts of a dedicated, passionate group of independent Associates would be,” said company founder Michael Fallquist, who will serve on the board of Viridian International Management.

In 2015, Viridian’s solar energy and natural gas offerings generated revenue of $324 million, making it the No. 53 direct selling company in the world, as ranked on the DSN Global 100. Viridian is No. 30 among North America-based direct selling companies.

To lead the next chapter of growth, Viridian International is bringing in Paul Booth as CEO. Booth is a veteran of the direct selling channel and the founder of software firm Data Paradigm Inc.

“For years behind the scenes my team has provided the insights, marketing and technology solutions to enable multiple direct selling organizations and countless network marketers to optimize their potential and achieve unprecedented growth,” said Booth. “In Viridian, I saw the right brand, the right people and the right time to finally make my dream of leading a radically successful network marketing company a reality.”

Cami Boehme, formerly Chief Strategy Officer for Crius Energy, also will join Viridian International as Partner and Chief Operations Officer. Rounding out the new leadership team is Peter Hirsch, who will step into the role of Chief Development Officer. Hirsch is a social entrepreneur, speaker and author whose most recent book is Global Cause Marketing: Future Proof Your Brand.

“We will continue to honor the founding principles of this great company, the sustainability pillars upon which the Viridian brand was built,” said Boehme. “We will continue to reinforce and enhance the Viridian opportunity, but with nimbleness, speed and a renewed commitment to growth, diversification and international expansion.”

In its announcement, Viridian said it will continue to partner with Crius Energy on its green energy products, while also exploring strategic partnerships in other product categories.

Nerium Product Development Summit Unites Western Science, Eastern Medicine

Photo: Nerium South Korea independent sellers, known as Brand Partners


As part of its strategy to offer exclusive anti-aging products and expand in Asia, Nerium International recently hosted a Global Product Development Summit in South Korea.

In attendance were representatives from biotechnology companies, universities and R&D teams, who work with Nerium to develop its skincare and nutrition products. The two-day summit was held at COSMAX, a South Korea-based cosmetics manufacturer and R&D lab that works with Nerium and a number of other luxury skincare brands.

“I believe Nerium to be the best company in the world, and COSMAX will support it with all of our best resources for a great cause, combining Western technologies with Eastern know-how,” said Kyung-Soo Lee, COSMAX Founder and CEO.

Nerium aims to build its core product line while adhering to its strict formulation philosophy and criteria, said Founder and Co-CEO Jeff Olson. Since launching with a single skincare product in 2011, the company has introduced just two additional anti-aging creams, an eye serum, and a supplement intended to boost brain health.

“Looking into the future, we plan to continue this pattern of expanding our product line by watching innovative and global trends in retail and science and creating superior anti-aging products for the face, body and mind,” said Olson.

The company also has plans to expand geographically, with openings in Japan and Hong Kong scheduled for later this year. To serve consumers in the region, Nerium plans to develop Asia-specific offerings that potentially will include anti-aging supplements and luxury beauty oils.

Isagenix Mobilizes Members for Good with Global Give Back Day

Photo: At Isagenix’s Arizona headquarters, volunteers gather for Global Give Back Day.


Isagenix International recently held its first-ever Global Give Back Day, led by the company’s START group of young entrepreneurs.

Ahead of the event, which took place May 7, Isagenix challenged its employees and Associates to focus on giving back in their communities for the day. Volunteers could find a local project through a designated events page or collaborate with others on the START Facebook page to organize their own.

In all, the health and wellness company said that its START members—Associates ages 18-35—led humanitarian projects in nine countries across the Americas and Asia, where Isagenix operates.

“I had goosebumps all day as I realized what was happening,” said Erik Coover, Isagenix Senior Vice President of Global Field Development. “There’s nothing more powerful than a movement that’s rooted in contribution. That’s why the START movement and Isagenix are so powerful.”

The largest initiative took place at the company’s new world headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, where more than 100 employees and customers gathered. The group donated blood, collected 450 pounds of food, and created 300 activity packets for patients at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among other projects.

Oriflame Hits Profit, Beats Revenue Expectations in First Quarter

Oriflame’s (ORI—Stockholm) first-quarter sales rose 10 percent in local currency and dipped 1 percent in euros to €305.8 million*, from €307.8 million a year ago, the Swedish cosmetics maker said Wednesday.

The results reflect a 19 percent increase in productivity among Oriflame consultants, countered by a 9 percent decrease in total consultants, management said. The skincare and wellness categories logged the strongest performance in the quarter.

On a regional basis, Asia and Turkey posted the largest gain, with local currency sales up 31 percent. Latin America revenue rose 13 percent, while Europe and Africa edged up 2 percent in local currency. CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) revenue stabilized, reversing a negative sales trend that followed economic and political uncertainty in the region.

The Switzerland-based company cleared a profit of €10.7 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to €11.2 million, or 20 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2015. Operating profit was €21.1 million versus the year-ago €17.2 million.

On average, analysts polled by Reuters had predicted operating profit at €21.1 million and net sales at €293 million.

“The underlying business and financial performance is encouraging, although we continue to be heavily impacted by persistent currency headwinds and deteriorating macro across many of our regions,” said CEO Magnus Brännström. “Efficiency initiatives are ongoing and are delivering desired results.”

The company also said it is still seeking a reason for local authority visits to its offices in Moscow, which took place in April, and remains fully transparent to the authorities.

Following its annual shareholder meeting on May 17, Oriflame announced a dividend of 40 cents a share, to be paid out in two installments set for November 2016 and February 2017.
*At the time of this writing, €1.00 was equal to $1.12.

Natura Brings Retail Model to Brazil with São Paulo Opening

Photo: Inside Natura’s São Paulo, Brazil, store.


Natura Cosméticos is the leading cosmetics brand in Brazil, but the beauty company is looking to expand its customer base with a brick-and-mortar approach.

At the end of April, the sustainability-minded brand opened a retail store in São Paulo, Brazil, also home to its global headquarters. The store is one of two operated by the $2.4-billion company, which just a year ago added e-commerce to its direct sales model. Natura opened its first store in Paris eight years ago as part of a multi-channel operation in France.

The São Paulo store was more than two years in the making, including a test run in a smaller Brazilian city, where Natura found that brand recall increased as a result of its brick-and-mortar presence. In the design phase, the company even constructed life-size mockups of two different concepts, in order to collect feedback from stakeholders.

The retail strategy is part of a larger effort to connect to consumers who, historically, have not formed strong ties to Natura. For example, management believes an in-store experience will draw young consumers in big cities, where direct selling is not as widespread, as well as crowds shopping for holidays and other special occasions.

According to João Paulo Ferreira, Vice President of Sales, the model creates important synergies for Natura, attracting shoppers who will eventually buy through all available channels, including the brand’s consultants, who number 1.5 million in Brazil and 400,000 across international markets.

USANA Named Nutrition Supplier of Top Colombian Soccer Clubs

A slew of additional soccer clubs, including three top Colombian organizations, are making USANA their nutrition brand of choice, the company said Thursday.

The latest additions to Team USANA include Atlético Nacional S. A. and América de Cali S. A., competing in the country’s Categoría Primera A league. With 19 domestic titles, Atlético Nacional is Colombia’s top soccer club, as well as the country’s largest.

“We chose USANA because its high-quality products are backed by scientific support that gives our athletes peace of mind,” said María Alejandra Alzate, Nutritionist of the Atlético Nacional.

The Utah-based company also has been named Official Nutritional Supplement Supplier of Jaguares Fútbol Club S. A., a Categoría Primera B team with 13 national championships. Outside Colombia, USANA recently added England’s AFC Bournemouth and Mexico’s C.F. Pachuca to its roster of sponsored clubs.

USANA backs the purity of its products with a unique Athlete Guarantee Program. Under the agreement, any athlete who tests positive for a banned substance as a result of taking USANA products will be compensated for lost revenue up to $1 million.