Recently Alticor, the parent company of Amway and Quixtar purchased Gurwitch Products, which manufacturers and markets Laura Mercier luxury cosmetics. Not long after, Interleukin Genetics, majority owned by Alticor, announced the purchase of Alan James Group LLC, which markets a range of nutraceuticals. According to the Alticor press release, Gurwitch will continue to sell Laura Mercier products through traditional retail outlets –
Gurwitch Products will maintain close partnerships with its valued
retail partners and continue exclusive distribution of Laura Mercier
through high-end retail and online sales channels.
The Interleukin release on the Alan James Group acquisition states –
"Alan James will continue to do business under the name Alan James Group
as a wholly owned subsidiary of Interleukin Genetics, Inc."
"The company's products are sold at the nation's largest retailers,
including Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Kroger and
Alticor has stated in both cases that the acquistions will aid in development of products for sale in the direct sales channel, nevertheless, Alticor now owns two companies that sell products in the retail
marketplace in direct competition with products being marketed by IBOs.
Should IBOs be concerned? It wouldn't surprise me to see critics claim this as evidence that the DeVos and Van Andel families believe the direct sales side of the business is in decline. I disagree. Strategic acquisitions and diversifications are smart business. I have heard Crown Ambassador Jim Dornan talk about how he is investing in shopping centres – obviously competition to Quixtar. I think that's just smart business – take advantage of both offline and online shopping, highly profitable industries – and something I intend to do myself in the future.
What do you think? Is Alticor moving in to the mainstream and potentially leaving IBOs behind? Or is it business as usual?
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