Russian Direct Selling Association (RDSA) has announced the highlights of the industry in 2014 in Russia.
Despite the ongoing economic crisis in Russia, which began in late 2014, member companies of the RDSA managed to sustain growth and ended the year with sales at 141.9 billion rubles (approx USD 2.73 billion).
Last year was a difficult one, but still a success for the industry. We managed to keep the momentum of sales from 2013 when the turnover of the industry amounted to 141.5 billion Rubles, – says the president of RDSA Tamara Shokareva.
RDSA reports an 8% increase in the number of independent distributors and customers of direct selling companies at 4.93 million people. These numbers are similar to a record high from 2009 which the number of distributors reach 4.99 million.
In a crisis, these trends confirm the growing attraction of the direct sales industry as an opportunity to acquire discounted products directly from the manufacturer, as well as the emergence of new opportunities for individuals who have lost their jobs or who want an additional source of income. I believe that the increase in the number of independent distributors and customers in 2015 will continue, says Tamara Shokareva.
These expectations are reinforced by the statistics of 1999 and 2009, previous years plagued by economic crisis when the increase in the number of people involved in the direct selling industry was 26% and 13% respectively.
In addition to a growing number of people, the industry also saw changes in performance of product categories. Dynamic growth was seen in the ategory of ‘Healthy lifestyle products’ that increased by 22% and accounts for 22.8 billion Rubles in revenue. The “Personal Care’ segment generated the largest sales for the industry at 61% amounting to 86.7 billion Rubles. The ‘Household Goods’ segment saw a decline in sales this year generating only 5 billion Rubles.
Despite the difficult economic conditions during which most companies tend to reduce their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets, in 2014 the direct sales industry in Russia contributed 70.8 million Rubles towards charitable programs, and approximately 11 thousand hours of employees of these companies were dedicated to volunteer projects.