Through 2013, the European direct selling industry has been predominantly dominated by France, Germany and Russia throughout 2013, with each country having sales of several billion EUR.
While the majority of countries have seen a decline in sales as a consequence of the economic turndown, overall revenues for the region increased by small one-digit percentage point.
Economic troubles in Europe affected the direct selling market in two ways: sales decreased in selected countries in 2012, such as Italy and Portugal, but the number of direct selling representatives grew as more people seek a source of additional or even primary income.
In Central Europe, Germany has seen a one-digit increase in sales in 2012. The direct selling companies there were facing increased competition from other sales channels, especially E-Commerce. As a solution, some direct selling companies have opened online shops or have announced plans to do so.
In Western Europe, the French direct selling market has seen an increase in both sales and number of direct selling representatives.
Meanwhile, in the UK more young people are joining the sales force in direct selling, bringing high technology affiliation with them. In both countries party plan sales gained increased importance as a direct selling method, reaching a double-digit share of total sales.
According to a recent market report, 'Europe Direct Selling Report 2013,' the leading product category for direct sales in Europe is cosmetics and personal care items, with a share of over a third on total sales, followed by wellness products.
In some countries, such as Sweden, wellness is ahead, while in other, for example Ukraine and Turkey, beauty products take up over two thirds of the market.
Globally, Amway represented the best performing direct selling company in 2012 with one-digit growth in global sales. Avon and Herbalife took second and third places, with sales of both companies decreasing in 2012.
The largest European direct selling company among worldwide leaders in 2012 was Germany-based Vorwerk.
For more information on the European direct selling market, see the latest research: European Direct Selling Market
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