Average number of direct sellers working the equivalent of full time hours almost doubles, as more men and couples enter the industry
In an industry traditionally dominated by working mums, new figures released today by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) show a growing trend for a broader demographic working in direct selling.
The Direct Selling Association (DSA), the trade body that represents direct selling companies including Avon, Amway, Oriflame and Pampered Chef, surveyed its 57 member companies, with respondents reporting that on average men now make up nearly a quarter (24%) of their direct sales force. This represents a 26% increase in the average number of men in the industry from 2010 levels.
Respondents also reported an average of 12% of their direct sales force now work over 30 hours a week (the equivalent of full time hours), nearly double the levels reported in 2010 (6.5%).
Alongside a growing trend for older people entering the industry to supplement retirement income (the DSA recorded a 29% increase in over 50 year old direct sellers between July 2010 and July 2011), the findings represent key changes to the traditional direct seller within the industry, which is conventionally dominated by working mothers looking to fit part time flexible earning around family commitments.
Paul Southworth, the DSA’s Director General, comments:
“We are witnessing a significant widening in the range of people looking to earn additional income through direct selling and also a considerable rise in the number of people increasing the hours they’re working in an industry that has always traditionally been seen as ‘part time’.
“Against a backdrop of high unemployment and reports of people being forced to take part time jobs because of the limited availability of full time opportunities, it’s interesting to see that direct selling is bucking the trend and allowing people to take more control over their own work and earnings.”
Direct selling, which is worth £2billion annually to the UK economy, is the UK’s largest provider of part-time independent earning, with over 400,000 people involved in the industry. DSA calculations based on the annual survey data suggest both these figures have stayed constant over the past year, indicating that direct sales has bucked other retail sector trends which have shown a decline through the recession.
The survey also found that couples are also on the increase in the direct selling sector, with members reporting that on average 12% of their direct sellers are now working with their other half.
Direct selling is where goods are sold direct to customers as opposed to the traditional fixed retail environment. Direct selling is a flexible option, and allows individuals to start their own businesses with minimal outlay, allowing people to work the hours they choose with no dependency on the traditional jobs market.
The Direct Selling Association is the trade body for the industry, responsible for promoting the sector and regulating member companies. All DSA member companies sign its Code of Conduct – an independently administered set of guidelines that are approved by the Office of Fair Trading.
The code ensures that direct sellers and customers can be safe in the knowledge that any member company will uphold the integrity of the industry.
About The DSA
Since 1965, the Direct Selling Association has been the recognised trade association for the direct selling channel of distribution. Today its member companies account for 59% of total direct sales. Members include Avon, Amway, Herbalife, Forever Living, Betterware, Kleeneze and The Pampered Chef.
Direct selling is the UK’s largest provider of part time, independent earning opportunities. It is an alternative channel of retail distribution which accounts for sales in excess of £2 billion every year and offers the public a wide range of consumer goods and services.
The DSA is committed to guiding the direct selling industry forward and continuing to further strengthen its image and reputation by promoting a better understanding of direct selling in an open and honest manner.
Last updated by.