Reasons are under debate; industry experts warn recovery may take several years.
By David Rauf
“This is an opportunity for the industry to reinvent itself, and there’s a common theme across the board that everyone sees the need for it.”
—Mona Ameli, owner, Ameli Global Partnerships
Companies small and large are revamping core aspects of their business models to adjust to the myriad pressures.
The U.S. direct selling channel is heading into the holiday season with the looming prospect that 2018 will be its third consecutive year marked by sluggish sales. Industry experts say it could take several years before the domestic market starts seeing substantial revenue increases again as direct sellers reboot their business models to adapt to the digital age as well as other pressures on the model.
A slight drop in sales in both 2016 and 2017 put an end to a relatively robust period of growth. Between 2010 and 2015, U.S. revenue jumped by more than 25 percent to $36.1 billion, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA). But sales in 2017 totaled $34.9 billion, down 1.6 percent year over year.
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