Direct sales grew in Portugal during the pandemic

    Distribution based on independent sellers, followed by brands like Herbalife, MaryKay or Oriflame, gains momentum in Portugal. One in every three sales are made during home demonstrations.

    Herbalife, Amway, LR Health & Beauty Systems, MaryKay and Oriflame. These are some of the most renowned brands in the Portuguese direct selling ecosystem, which saw its revenue grow by 14% last year, a year that was marked by the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Data are from the Portuguese Institute of Direct Selling (IPVD), which has also registered a two-digit increase in 2020 (12%) in the number of new agents who are using this distribution and commercialization model that focuses on independent sellers in direct contact with consumers.

    According to the IPVD, which operates in the Portuguese market since 2001 and aims to “clarify commercial commitments between direct selling entrepreneurs and consumers”, last year there were almost 231 thousand active sole proprietors in Portugal.

    In a press release, the institute led by Gertrudes Soares (in representation of Herbalife Nutrition), whose goal is to promote “high standards in commercial practice of this distribution channel”, highlights that this creation of one’s own business is an increasing trend in Portugal, especially for younger age ranges.

    “The possibility of balancing family and social life with leisure activities and the professional career is an option that has attracted many young adults, but also many people who are in a more mature professional stage, a situation that was intensified by the need of telework and changes in the labour scene worldwide”, said the Institute.

    Gertrudes Soares, president of the Portuguese Institute of Direct Selling.

    The growth in direct selling in 2020, in a global context of consumption reduction, happened in most European countries, except for Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Ukraine. Ahead of Portugal, only the United Kingdom (45%), Ireland (23.3%) and Slovenia (16.4%) have shown a more robust growth, when compared to last year.

    According to the profile outlined by the IPVD, 84% of direct selling agents are women, seven out of ten have less than 50 years old, and 24% were unemployed before starting this activity. Almost half have higher education, and statistics show that 35% of sales happen during personalised demonstrations in a family environment.

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