Italian Direct Selling Association Univendita closed 2014 with a turnover of associated companies amounting to 1.3 billion euro, an increase of 6.7% compared to 2013. The result continues a streak that began in 2010, the year the association was established. Since then member companies have experienced an average 30% growth.
The most dynamic segment was that of durable household goods with an increase of 7.3% and a market share of 66%, which also remains the most important sector of Italian direct selling. This is followed by food and consumer goods (+ 5.6%) and cosmetics and personal care (+ 4.5%). Significant growth was seen in the sector other goods and services (+ 14.4%) driven by excellent results of the travel and tourism industry.
The number of professionals involved in direct selling number more more than 75,000, up 6.2% compared to 2013: the number of women is 88%, demonstrating that the organizational system offered by companies for home businesses fits in well with the need for flexibility required by many.
The very positive results of Univendita are even more important when compared to the performance of the fixed retail stores in 2014 that experienced another bad year, with sales down 1.2%. This is the fourth consecutive year in decline, although compared to 2013 the decline has slowed. In particular, sales of large retailers fell 0.4%, while those of small businesses were down 1.8%. Even the 'Indicator of Consumption Confcommercio (ICC) in 2014 recorded a decrease of 0.7% on an annual basis.
At the macroeconomic level, in 2014 GDP fell by 0.4%, while the inflation rate is + 0.2% slowdown of one percentage point compared to 2013 (+ 1.3%).
In 2014 companies Univendita not only continued to grow, but did so at a rate much higher than that of 2013 (that ended with a + 3.5%).