WASHINGTON, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Direct Selling Association (DSA) today released the results of its Annual Growth & Outlook Survey, which shows U.S. direct sales totaled $29.87 billion in 2011, a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase from $28.56 billion in 2010.
"There is good news coming from the direct selling segment," said DSA President Joseph Mariano. "Despite the economic climate, direct selling continues to be a source of income and support for independent consultants across the U.S."
The U.S. direct selling market grew faster than the overall U.S. economy, which grew 3.9 percent as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
Nearly half of U.S. direct selling companies experienced sales growth and another 14 percent remained flat.
Smaller direct selling companies (those with annual retail sales of less than $3 million) fared best with 66.7 percent showing growth and an average retail sales increase of about 30 percent.
"Growing a small business when the economy is struggling is a tall order," said Mariano. "As an industry that celebrates entrepreneurship, the achievements made in 2011, particularly by small direct selling companies, are remarkable."
The U.S. was ranked as the top direct selling market in the world with 20 percent of worldwide sales in 2011. Japan came in second with $23.9 billion (16 percent) followed by China with $16.3 billion (11 percent), South Korea at $12.8 billion (8 percent) and Brazil at $12 billion (8 percent).
"Around the world, the stories of the incredible journeys many people have taken to success through direct selling tell a poignant tale of individual achievement," said Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Brazilian direct selling company Natura Cosmeticos and WFDSA chairman. "It is through our global statistics that we can begin to paint a picture that conveys the economic and social benefits direct selling provides."
Global direct sales increased 10 percent, from $139.7 billion in 2010 to $153.7 billion in 2011, according to Carlucci.
Additional findings from the DSA 2011 Growth & Outlook survey are available at www.dsa.org/statistics/.
About the Growth & Outlook Survey
The Growth & Outlook Survey captures the annual size and scope of the direct selling industry in the U.S. It also provides direct selling companies important operating benchmarks to help them measure their effectiveness in the marketplace. DSA conducts the study from March through May each year.
About the Direct Selling Association
DSA is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to customers. Among its more than 240 active and pending members are companies selling both via a party-plan method and in the traditional person-to-person style. In 2011, U.S. direct sales were more than $29.87 billion with nearly 16 million direct sellers nationwide. The vast majority are independent business people – micro-entrepreneurs – whose purpose is to sell the product/service of the company they voluntarily choose to represent. Approximately 90 percent of direct sellers operate their business part-time. For more information, visit www.dsa.org.
SOURCE Direct Selling Association