2011 Direct Selling Statistics

Recently, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations and the United States Direct Selling Association jointly announced the official year-end 2011 figures for the industry, with WFDSA Board Chair Alessandro Carlucci representing the global Direct Selling industry.

Our global news was very optimistic! Here are some highlights:

  • In 2011, global direct sales increased 10% … from US$139.7 billion in retail sales in 2010 to $153.7 billion in 2011.
  • These sales were generated by the world’s 91.5 million Direct Sellers. These are the career-minded entrepreneurs who build their own businesses marketing the products/services of a Direct Selling company, as well as the part-time micro-entrepreneurs who earn extra income by doing so. This sales force of independent Direct Sellers was up 9% year-over-year.
  • Sales were UP in all major regions: Asia – Up12%; Europe – UP 4%; and the Americas – UP 11%. We always say that direct selling is a barometer of the economy – a leading indicator. And our news this year proves it. Direct selling is leading the way out of the recession.
  • The world’s Top 22 countries – all of which reported retail sales over US$1 billion – generate more than 90% of global Direct Sales. Of these, 16 countries reported sales growth in 2011. New to the group this year are Turkey and Indonesia. And if their current rates of growth hold, India and Ecuador will be included in 2012. (India at $982 million in retail sales was up 20%; and Ecuador, with sales of $903 million was up 30%.)
  • The Direct Selling story has always been one of success in both Emerging and Advanced countries. Here’s an example: The world’s Top 5 Direct Selling markets account for more than 60% of sales … 2 of these countries are considered Advanced markets / 3 are considered to be Emerging markets: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, and Brazil.

Yes! There is good news coming from the direct selling segment, but it’s not only about our growth in sales and sellers. It’s about the broad menu of opportunities that this industry offers: to those who would be independent direct sellers, their customers, and direct selling companies.

For detailed statistics, please visit the WFDSA website at https://www.wfdsa.org/about_wfdsa/index.cfm?fa=globalStats

Judy Jones, Amway Corporation & Chair, WFDSA Global Research Sub-committee on behalf of the committee


“Direct Selling Global Statistics are the result of work by the WFDSA Global Research team and countless other people worldwide. It is my privilege to work with this team of professional researchers to compile solid information that will help convey the positive story of Direct Selling and its empowering impact on the world.”


Judy Jones, Amway Corporation & WFDSA Global Research Sub-committee Chair


“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, but it is through our global statistics that we can begin to understand the true impact of this vibrant business model.”

 Alessandro Carlucci, WFDSA Chairman & CEO Natura Cosmeticos