It has been a few decades since the direct selling industry and the network marketing community has been thrust into the mainstream limelight like we have been in the last eighteen months. And although not all of it has been totally upbeat, I feel it has been a very positive experience, because not since the late 70s, early 80s have we really taken time to focus on what we need to do to ensure we are protecting the consumer as well as our business model.
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Source: Direct Selling News: News in Brief, February 2013
Amway, one of the world’s largest direct selling companies, and Free The Children, an international charity and educational partner, announced a new partnership that will bring Free The Children’s signature youth empowerment event, We Day, into the United States for the first time.
Amway North America will serve as co-title sponsor, along with Microsoft, of We Day Seattle, at Key Arena on March 27, featuring former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, among many others. Reaching hundreds of thousands of youth through inspirational events and a yearlong service program, We Day has previously been held annually only in Canada.
Founded in 1995 by 12-year-old child-rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. (Read the full article here)
Since the inception of the USANA True Health Foundation in March 2012, USANA Health Sciences Inc., its employees, its associates and friends of the company have raised more than $3 million in monetary and Usanimals™ children’s supplement donations during last year.
According to USANA True Health Foundation President Elaine Pace, the nonprofit organization surpassed its donation goal for 2012, with expectations to exceed goals for this year as well.
The USANA True Health Foundation has three categories to which anyone can donate—Area of Greatest Need: Immediate Help, Children’s Hunger Fund and Sanoviv Medical Assistance.
The Children’s Hunger Fund, whose mission is to improve the lives of poor children and their families, received $2.3 million in monies and vitamins from the foundation. (Read the full article here)
Nick Sarnicola, Co-Founder and Global Ambassador of ViSalus™, has pledged $1 million to the Sarnicola Foundation to support young, aspiring entrepreneurs.
Sarnicola grew up in a blue-collar, middle-class family in Grand Rapids, Mich., and was exposed to entrepreneurship at a young age. While building a national salesforce for a telecommunications company, Sarnicola found his calling to inspire young adults to follow the path of entrepreneurship.
After co-founding ViSalus with Ryan Blair and Blake Mallen, Sarnicola’s passion for encouraging this career path carried over, and he created the Sarnicola Foundation in 2011 with his wife, Ashley Sarnicola. The mission of the foundation is to foster entrepreneurship by providing mentorship, scholarships and funding to young aspiring entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2005 with headquarters in Los Angeles and Troy, Mich., ViSalus is the company behind the Body by Vi™ Challenge, a 90-day health transformation platform. ViSalus™ is majority owned by Blyth Inc.
Primerica has announced that its TermNow life insurance product garnered national attention for its innovative underwriting design. In the January 2013 issue of Best’s Review, a monthly insurance news magazine, Primerica was listed as one of the top 10 innovators in its “Innovation Showcase.”
According to the publication, the 10 innovations were selected based on their impact on that individual company, and in some instances, the insurance industry as a whole. Though from a wide range of segments, they all showed “measurable success” and improved performance for the business. (Read the fully article here)
Inc. magazine has named Scentsy Inc. to a prestigious list of employers credited with creating the most jobs in the United States over a three-year period. The magazine’s December issue ranked Scentsy No. 20 on the inaugural “Inc. Hire Power Awards” list for creating 699 full-time jobs from 2008 to 2011. In addition, Scentsy ranked No. 1 in job creation among consumer products and services companies and was the largest job creator in Idaho.
Inc. compiled the list of 100 privately held, U.S.-based companies, which it called “the real heroes of the American economy for rebuilding lives and putting Americans back to work.” Scentsy is among the 10 largest companies on the list with 2011 revenues exceeding $500 million. (Read the full article here)
Herbalife Ltd., a global nutrition company, announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a manufacturing facility in Winston Salem, N.C. This purchase further expands Herbalife’s global manufacturing capacity and is in line with the company’s stated strategy to increase self-manufacturing for its products.
The agreement is based upon a cash purchase of $22.2 million and includes incentives from Winston Salem, Forsyth County and the state of North Carolina. The receipt of these incentives, coupled with an existing manufacturing facility and the availability of labor force in the Triad region, were key criteria that the company considered upon selecting this location above other cities in the Southeast. (Read the full article here)
LifeVantage Corp., a science-based nutraceutical company and maker of the patented dietary supplement Protandim®, the Nrf2 Synergizer®, announced that it has expanded its operations to Hong Kong.
LifeVantage’s expansion into Hong Kong is a natural outgrowth of the company’s global plan to grow its market presence in countries where its healthy living message resonates. Hong Kong is also one of the world’s recognized financial centers, with a history of entrepreneurship, innovation and capitalism. (Read the full article here)
Jill Blashack Strahan, Founder of Tastefully Simple, has started a new company, Inspirada Dreams, which takes members and visitors on a unique online journey through personal development and inspiration.
Inspirada Dreams offers members the opportunity to “reflect on where you are in life, imagine new possibilities and create your action plans.” The experience is designed to enhance lives, providing how-to information on goal-setting, accountability and opportunities for self-reflection through Dream Escapes. Products and gifts are also available. Strahan started the program within Tastefully Simple in another format previously to help leaders achieve work-life balance, and it is now accessible to the public online. (Read the full article here)
Today’s direct sellers without a doubt embody what it means to be an entrepreneur. These 15.6 million men and women across the country own and operate independent businesses by their own watch, and many do so without any prior business education. However, as both online education and in-class entrepreneurship course offerings continue to evolve, direct sellers now have greater access to entrepreneurship—and direct selling—education than ever before.
“Currently in the U.S., 4.9 percent of all citizens with college degrees are unemployed,” said Richard Brooke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Shotz/Oxyfresh.com. “Almost 54 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. They are more likely to work at a coffee shop or local restaurant than in their field of study, according to a Labor Force Study conducted at Northeastern University. Furthermore, for the first time in history, student loans total more than $1 trillion—more debt than all Americans combined have on credit cards. The truth is, a high percentage of these graduates may be unemployable because their degree and career experience are irrelevant in today’s changing world.” (Read the full article here)
Network Marketing Pros In The News
Julie Rasmussen, formerly with Mary Kay, has joined the Board of Directors of Computer Vision Systems Laboratories, the parent company of Longaberger.
Richard Voke, formerly of Pampered Chef and other direct selling companies, passed away last month.
MLM Companies In The News
ConsumerLab.com has completed its most recent survey of vitamin and supplement users and has published the list of those receiving the best rating on overall consumer satisfaction within their specific market segments. USANA has been named the No. 1 rated brand in direct sales based on customer satisfaction and Amway’sNutrilite brand was named the top-rated direct selling brand based on merchants’ overall consumer satisfaction.
Amway is planning a new $81 million manufacturing facility in Ada, Mich. Construction begins this year and it is expected to create more than 200 jobs during the next three years.
Avon recently reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results. For the fourth quarter, total revenue of $3 billion decreased 1 percent, but increased 1 percent in constant dollars. Active representatives were up 1 percent. Fourth-quarter 2012 gross margin was 59.8 percent. Total revenue of $10.7 billion decreased 5 percent, or was flat in constant dollars. Total beauty sales declined 5 percent, or increased 1 percent on a constant-dollar basis. Active representatives declined 1 percent and units sold were flat. Operating profit of $315 million decreased 63 percent and operating margin was 2.9 percent. In Latin America, fourth-quarter constant-dollar revenue increased, primarily due to an increase in active representatives. In North America, fourth-quarter revenue declined 12 percent, primarily due to a decrease in active representatives. The North America Avon business revenue declined 11 percent, primarily due to a decrease in active representatives, partially offset by higher average order. Silpada revenue declined 18 percent, primarily due to a decline in average order as well as a decrease in active representatives. In Asia Pacific, fourth-quarter constant-dollar revenue decreased primarily due to continued weakness in China. Revenue in China declined 23 percent, or 24 percent in constant dollars, primarily as a result of a decline in units sold. The company continues to focus on independently owned retail locations (Beauty Boutiques). Revenue in the Philippines grew 7 percent, or 2 percent in constant dollars, primarily due to growth in active representatives and higher average order, due to an increase in fashion and home sales. View the full press release online.
Immunotec released its year-end 2012 financial results for the period ended on Oct. 31, 2012. Total revenue reached $49.2 million, an increase of 15 percent as compared to the previous year. Network sales reached $44.2 million, an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period in the previous year. Net profit of $125,000 showed a significant improvement over 2011 (when the company experienced a net loss of $1.4 million). View the full press release online.
LifeVantage reported financial results for the fiscal 2013 second quarter and the six months ended Dec. 31, 2012. Net revenue increased 111 percent to $53.4 million; operating cash flow grew 16 percent to $5.4 million; operating income was $487,000, which included $5.9 million of expenses related to the voluntary product recall the company announced in December 2012. For the fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, the company reported record net revenue of $53.4 million, compared to $25.3 million for the same period in fiscal 2012, an increase of 111 percent. On a sequential quarter basis, net revenue increased from $52.9 million reported for the company’s 2013 first fiscal quarter, ended Sept. 30, 2012. View the full press release online.
Primerica announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year, which ended Dec. 31, 2012. Total revenues were $304.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and net income was $40.3 million. For the full year 2012, total revenues were $1.19 billion and net income was $173.8 million. Operating revenues increased by 12 percent to $303.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $271.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. For the full year 2012, net operating income increased 12 percent to $174.5 million compared with $156 million for 2011. View the full press release online.
In additional company news, Primerica has replaced The Shaw Group in the S&P MidCap Index. To be included in this index, a company’s stock must have a total market capitalization that ranges from $750 million to $3 billion. Primerica currently has a market capitalization of approximately $1.9 billion. John Addison, Chairman of Primerica Distribution and Co-Chief Executive Officer said, “After the completion of our 2010 IPO, we were gratified to be included in the Russell 2000 Index. Today, we are elated that we are now also included in the prestigious S&P MidCap 400 Index.”
The USANA True Health Foundation is supporting Mike Allsop, a marathon runner, on his 777 Project, which will benefit KidsCan, a nonprofit in New Zealand. The 777 Project is Allsop’s attempt to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. He will be tracked by GPS and for each leg of the journey he completes, additional money will be raised for KidsCan.