What a week we have seen inside the direct selling industry. From RippLn releasing their first app, to Younegitvy releasing their second quarter financials, to Herbalife simplifying their terminology and definitions of distributors and members, to European countries tightening the ponzi and pyramid laws we cover it all!
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Salt Lake City-based Vivint has added high-speed Internet to its security, home automation and energy offerings.
Blackstone Capital acquired Vivint for about $1.86 billion last year, and the company announced just this month that it has secured a $200 million investment to finance solar power systems on residential rooftops. Vivint Solar has experienced rapid growth, becoming the second-largest U.S. residential solar installer in the first quarter of 2013, according to GTM Research’s U.S. PV Leaderboard. The company began offering home energy management in 2011, and 54 percent of its 700,000-plus customers have signed up for the service. (Source: Direct Selling News)
At U.S. Army Fort Benning in Georgia, some families have found a small business enterprise uniquely suited to their lifestyle in direct selling. In the August issue of DSN, the Direct Selling Association’s Alyssa Wolice addresses the many ways our industry’s entrepreneurs represent “A Driving Force for Innovation” in this country. “By offering both men and women equal opportunities to launch independent businesses in any field of their choosing, the direct selling industry has empowered millions, including many who have felt discriminated against because of their lack of access to higher education or expensive job training, or their inability to adhere to a fixed employment schedule due to family or personal obligations,” Wolice explains. (Source: Direct Selling News)
Initials Inc. President and Co-Founder Britney Vickery recently spoke to Bloomberg about how her company and the industry are appealing to a new generation of women. Following several years of triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year, Initials Inc. is on pace to be a $400 million-plus company in a few years. Vickery attributes the company’s success to the philosophy behind its personalized products: “There’s only one you.” Empowering individuals to realize their unique talents and abilities has helped Initials Inc. attract new customers and support its Creative Partners. (Source: Direct Selling News)
Joe Mariano to join Round Table
With great pleasure we announce that Joe Mariano, the President of the US DSA, will be joining Seldia at this year’s Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling. Joe Mariano joined the US Direct Selling Association in 1985. Before becoming its President, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for the success in the association’s programs and activities and advocates a progressive association leadership. Mr. Mariano also serves as Vice Chairman on the Direct Selling Education Foundation Board of Directors, and Chairman of the World Federation of Selling Associations (WFDSA) Ethics Committee. (Source: Seldia)
Ireland: Significant rise in young direct sellers
New figures released by the Direct Selling Association of Ireland (DSAI) reveal a significant rise in the number of under 25-year-olds turning to direct selling, as an alternative to traditional employment. Figures from the DSAI’s member companies reveal a 60% rise in the total number of direct sellers in Ireland aged under-25, compared to 2011 figures.
With Irish youth unemployment at 26.7%, according to the Central Statistics Office, the jobs market for under-25s is increasingly difficult. Lynda Mills, Director of the Direct Selling Association of Ireland said: “The high unemployment figures show there is a real concern regarding young people finding work, and it is incredibly positive to see direct selling increasingly appealing to young people as a way to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Despite the difficult jobs market, there is a real desire among many young people in Ireland to run their own business and make a very successful career.”
Herbalife establishes New Terminology
In efforts to simplify the understanding of the company’s participant base, Herbalife recently announced that it will rename a category of participants from “distributor” to “member.”
“We know a large percentage of our distributors or participants are simply discount customers who use our weight management, nutrition, sports and personal care products primarily for their own use,” said Herbalife Chairman & CEO Michael O. Johnson during the company’s second quarter 2013 earnings conference call. “Knowing that most of our participants are discount buyers, we have decided to change and simplify the terminology we use for participants in our network. We believe the changes we are making will better serve our customers and investors and help them better understand our business.”
Inc. Magazine recently announced its Inc. 500/5000 List of the fasted growing private companies in the U.S. The rankings were based on revenue growth from 2009 to 2012. Congratulations to the following direct selling companies on the list this year:
- J.Hilburn, ranked No. 605
- Initials, Inc., ranked No. 762
- YOR Health, ranked No. 1052
- Ambit Energy, ranked No. 1996
- 5Linx, ranked No. 3009
- Stemtech HealthSciences, ranked No. 3986
Forbes Magazine recently released its list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies. Direct selling companies ranked on the list include:
AdvoCare has announced it will team with Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne to serve as the full-time partner on the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) in 2014.
In other news, Amway’s headquarters was recently visited by six school superintendents from West Michigan for the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. More than 3,000 backpacks were stuffed with community donations and then loaded into a school bus to be distributed to children throughout the region.
Avon recently announced actress Megan Fox will serve as the face of Avon Instinct, a duo of fragrances for him and her.
Youngevity International recently reported financial results for the second quarter of 2013. The company’s revenue increased 8.9 percent to $20.9 million compared to $19.2 million for the same period in fiscal 2012. Youngevity International’s gross profit for the second fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013, increased approximately 15.5 percent to $12.7 million compared to $11 million recorded in the same period last year.
The company reported second fiscal quarter 2013 net income of $662,000, compared to a net loss of ($36,000) for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. The increase of $698,000 was attributable to the increase in income before income taxes of $809,000, offset by an increase in income tax provision of $111,000. As of June 30, 2013, the company’s cash and cash equivalents were $3.6 million and working capital of $2.5 million as compared to cash and cash equivalents of $3 million and a working capital of $1.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2012.
For the six months ended June 30, 2013, the company reported net revenue of $41.7 million, compared to $35.2 million for the same period in fiscal 2012, an 18.5 percent increase. Gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 increased 25.5 percent to $25.1 million, as compared to $20 million in the prior-year period. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 was $1.7 million, as compared to a net loss of $887,000 reported in the same period in fiscal 2012. The increase of $2.5 million was attributable to the increase in income before income taxes of $2.8 million offset by an increase in income tax provision of $301,000. View the full press release online.