In an email released to its salesforce, Missouri-based wine membership company Direct Cellars abruptly announced the suspension of its direct selling business operations until further notice. The company first launched in 2014 as a direct selling wine subscription company and in 2016 developed a full multi-level compensation plan, operating in the U.S., UK and Australia. The email sent by executive management referenced adverse conditions and the lack of funding as the primary reasons for the suspension. All representative agreements are terminated and the company is no longer accepting wine club members.
Manhattan federal judge Vernon Broderick has ruled Avon must answer the discrimination charges levelled by two former employees, Caroline Ruiz and Olivera Krstanoska. Ruiz, the former head of global procurement for the company, has accused the cosmetics giant of maternity discrimination since her role with the company was eliminated one month after she was hired after she announced her high-risk pregnancy. Krstanoska also alleges Avon is a hostile working environment for pregnant women and new and nursing mothers. Broderick’s ruling means Avon cannot force either claim into arbitration. The complaint is seeking class action status.
Youngevity has announced the execution of a non-binding letter of intent to purchase certain assets of nutritional and beauty products company BeneYOU LLC. The companies have acknowledged plans to close a transaction by the end of October defining the specific assets to be purchased.
In order to meet market demand in China, Herbalife Nutrition announced the opening of a product innovation center in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, often called China’s Silicon Valley. The center will include research and development space and several labs. Herbalife opened its first factory in China in 1998.
The Supreme Court of India advised Amazon Selling Services to quickly seek a hearing with the Delhi High Court to challenge an order made in July in favor of direct selling companies Amway, Oriflame and Modicare. Amazon is challenging the High Court’s order in favor of direct selling companies that e-commerce platforms including Amazon, as well as several others based in India stop selling direct selling products on their platforms without the direct selling company’s consent. The Delhi High Court held that e-commerce platforms are not ‘passive, non-interfering platforms’ and have a distinct advantage of convenience and therefore granted direct sellers interim relief. Amazon is concerned that this will set a precedent for future rulings.
Three direct selling companies made the list of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies in the U.S. Tranont, a dietary supplement and financial products company, placed No. 597 with a reported 744 percent growth in the last three years. Xyngular, direct seller of nutritional supplements, landed a spot at No. 2976 with 126 percent growth in three years. And ARIIX, a multi-brand and multi-industry company selling loyalty travel, supplements, weight-loss products, air and water purifiers, essential oils, skincare and personal care products, came in at No. 3629 with 96 percent growth over three years. All three companies are based in Utah.
Facebook is considering hiding the “like” counter from social media sites Facebook and Instagram to protect users from adverse mental health affects such as feeling inadequate or experiencing envy if they don’t get as many likes on their posts as others. Testing on Instagram has already begun in seven countries by showing only a few names of mutual friends who have liked the post instead of the total number. The account owner, however, can still see the total number of likes.
Supermarket chain Kroger experienced 31 percent growth in e-commerce sales during its second fiscal quarter. According to the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000 report, Kroger came in at No. 17. As new investments in their ship-from-store capabilities taper off, Kroger’s digital business is closer to profitability said CEO Rodney McMullen during an investors call. The retailer’s online grocery delivery service now reaches 95 percent of its entire customer base.
E-commerce giant Amazon prepares to shift its standard shipping time for Amazon Prime deliveries from two days down to one day. During a recent earnings call, Amazon announced it will spend $800 million to support faster free Prime shipping. Likely adding to Amazon’s efforts is Walmart’s recent e-commerce pilot offering free next-day delivery for purchases of $35 or more from Walmart.com. Walmart plans to provide this free next-day shipping to approximately 75 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2019.